5 Tips for Teaching Online

Are you an educator who has found out you’ll be teaching online for the upcoming school year? Below are tips to help you create curriculum for online teaching while maintaining a reasonable work-life balance.

1. Create a Schedule

It’s easy to find yourself in work-mode after the day has ended when you don’t have to leave your house to “go-home”. Creating a schedule for yourself, and relaying that to your superiors and other people who depend on you, lets them know when you will be available to answer questions related to work. Try setting specific hours for your work day, and keep lesson planning, grading, meetings, office hours, and recording your lessons within that time. This will enable you to maintain a healthy work-life balance while still working from home.

2. Find Your Comfort Zone

Creating content for your students to view virtually does not have to be as different as your in-person teaching styles. Each teacher brings a unique aspect that helps their students really understand and learn the information being taught. Take your personal teaching style, and find an easy way to video capture that for your students. Sticking to your creative way of teaching will help students feel engaged with the content you’re are teaching.

3. Create a Focused Environment

Working from home can create multiple obstacles, including your office/classroom being located in the same place you relax and enjoy family time. To guarantee you stay focused, create a specific, designated area in your home for work tasks only. Keeping your meetings, classroom recordings, and office hours in this area will keep you in “work-mode” while in that area, and “home-mode” when in other areas of your house.

4. Keep Your Videos Short

Students’ attention span lasts for approximately 5 minutes. In a classroom, it is easy to gauge this and adjust when you feel you are losing their attention. However, when teaching virtual, we recommend keeping your videos to a maximum of 5 minutes. It is okay to have multiple 5-minute videos for a lesson, but breaking it up into those chunks of time will keep students focused and make them feel like the are making progress on their work.

5. Set Expectations

Technology is great – it allows for us to connect with whomever, whenever. However, this can also cause issues, especially when technology is the main form of communicating when teaching from home. We suggest setting expectations with your students, your students’ parents, and your supervisors. Communicate your schedule to all parties, and let them know you will answer calls and emails during that time. Additionally, reach out to your students’ parents and communicate to them what you need them to keep an eye on as their student completes course work from home. Creating expectations for both yourself and your students’ parents will help ease confusion and raise the child’s success for completing their schoolwork remotely.

For more tips and resources on teaching remotely, please be sure to check out our post on 8 things administrators should consider for an online school year.

birds eye view of students working at a round table with laptops and study materials
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