Getting the first online teaching job might seem more than intimidating. If you are still new in the field of teaching or barely a graduate, an online teaching job might feel like a far-fetched dream. However, securing the first job may be the actual hard nut, but once you get through it, you won’t have to contemplate as much when you apply for other promising teaching related jobs in future. However, there are a bunch of hearsay things about teaching jobs that you should avoid to prevent yourself from bothering unnecessarily.
Here are some of the common myths:
- You cannot expect an online teaching job if you have no prior experiences in your bag
- You need a doctoral degree in your resume to get an online teaching job
Certain special qualities such as having played as a guest lecturer at a local college, to have played the leader at your workplace and to have taught others regarding technologies, to have devised a course or to have expertise on a new software can replace the space of prior experiences on your resume.
Both are just baseless myths. There have been many instances where teachers with masters degree have been hired for good job positions. Some job positions specifically mention the need for doctorates but it does not matter that much, since teachers with master’s degree end up getting some of the positions. So, the underlying fact is that you should apply for all possible teaching jobs without any sort of filtrations. It is very obvious that a doctorate degree will make it more probable for you to get a particular job or you might be offered with a vast array of job opportunities. But, along with this truth another truth prevails, that is, a doctorate degree is not the sole criteria on the basis of which the employers will select or reject you. Let it not demotivate you and get you dejected from applying and trying for numerous teaching jobs. If you apply for around 120 jobs, you have the probability of securing one job at least. However, it cannot be estimated how long you have to wait after applying for a job. It depends a bit on the luck factor and a bit on your discipline. If your discipline is more specialized or a bit exclusive, you have the probability of getting a job faster. No matter what, you need to be patient and go on applying for jobs. Also, it would be beneficial for you to focus on getting your educator package completed.
The educator package is crucial for your job interview. It comprises of your resume, 3 letters of recommendations, a cover letter, unofficial transcripts, your statement of teaching philosophy both in the CV and as a separate file, and 3 references in your CV as well as in a file separately. Creating your educator package is the step that you need to take before applying for a job. You need to make sure that the package is genuine and authentic. There can be multiple parts in your teaching philosophy, but make sure it has at least 2 parts. You can reflect upon your teaching ideologies in the first part.
The major questions that should be covered are:
- Why education plays a significant role in your life?
- What is your purpose of teaching?
- What are your qualifications to prove your credibility as a teacher?
- What are your tactics of keeping the students engrossed?
- How would you implement your teaching ideas to make your methods more effective?
The second part might contain the answer to the question:
A teacher with the genuine intent of helping his or her students can always be a phenomenal teacher, whether offline or online. However, there are certain smart tips to follow, when it comes to online teaching:
- Building a great rapport with students
Students tend to share everything with their peers. So, if teachers built a relation with students where the students are free enough to share even their shortcomings openly, half of the job is done. Teachers should always be on the lookout to provide a helping hand to the students that makes the students rely on their teachers, and focus more on their studies.
- Devoting extra time
Students should be made aware that online course has to be treated with great seriousness. Same applies for teachers as well. This is no shortcut to gaining teaching experience. In fact, extra hours have to be contributed to understand the course themselves.
- A genuine feedback is a must
Assessments should always by followed by proper feedbacks to the students on individual basis, since it is an online course. Many students feed on their teacher’s remarks to improve themselves and even to get their sense of capability reinforced.
The teacher should also be sensitive to the student’s needs or concerns and should always seek out for solutions on a positive note, for the student.
- Communication with students
Many tools are provided by online schools to facilitate potential communication with students, such as discussion forums, live sessions or privatized emails. You have to experiment as to which of these works the best and draw a conclusion.
- Do not treat it as any other 9 to 5 Job
Students can crave for your helping hand in critical times, even at your “off “ hours. Without your guidance at the proper time, they might lose confidence. So, you might have to sacrifice your personal time or extend your working hours during crucial times, in order to fulfil your responsibility as the student’s angel.
- Get immersed into the course management
Actively participate in reviewing assignment submissions or setting gentle reminders for students for deadlines.
- Establishing a scheduled procedure
There should be an element of repetition to their style of handling the course. Students will have a clear idea as to what is expected of them and this will help them to create their personal schedules for upcoming weeks. This specific pattern will help students in developing their time management skills.
- Plan for emergencies beforehand
Online teachers plan out to keep students aware of even subtle changes to the common pattern being followed. They might even appoint a person for emergency situations, such as if they face health issues or, if the website gets non-functional for a while or if some tools do not work. Students should be kept updated.
- Be mindful when writing to students
In the world of online learning, where there are no face to face interactions, it is very important to be mindful while conversing with students, or sending them messages via mail. Any kind of harsh tone or derogatory remarks should be avoided. You should remember that your remarks can make or break them, so you need to be extra conscious and considerate.
- Flawless course materials
It is your duty to make sure that the course material is flawless, that is, the contents should have the attributes of systems performance, proper instructional design and precision. The course material should always be of a superior quality and content.
- Understanding the student’s needs on a personal basis
You need to be sensitive to the student needs, and that too on an individual basis, unlike in traditional classrooms. Only then can you come up with personalized solutions for each one of your students.
- Keeping students motivated and attentive
Encouraging students to speak their minds or collaborative assignment works captivates the minds of the students, much contrary to monotonous lectures.
- Encouraging students to give their feedback
Allowing students to give feedback early in the course can be beneficial to the teachers and to bring about necessary changes to make their teaching pattern more effective.
- Making the students aware of the course expectations
This step should be taken at the beginning of the course itself. Students should be informed as to how many assignments they need to submit on a weekly basis, how important are group activities and that quizzes are also to be treated with seriousness.
- Making effective use of the tools
The online school provides many useful tools that you should be aware of first and foremost. You should have a comprehensive knowledge of the tools and the entire online platform right from the start of the course and only then can you teach the students about the tricks and intricacies of using the various tools. Tools such as chat rooms or programs pertaining to quizzes can be used throughout the course to make it more interactive and engaging for students from time to time.
- Be ready to make amendments in your course materials as per student’s needs
The beauty of online schools are that the students are not forced to adhere to any set-up coursework. You need to bring changes to your lessons, in case, a particular student needs more details on a particular topic.
The most essential point to keep in mind is that students should never feel alone while taking online courses as it might scare them off. There are no face to face interactions, so if there is not enough communication between teachers and students, online courses will never work for students. They need constant mental support at all the stages to feel your presence beside them. Online teaching is a great responsibility, yet it can give you a great sense of achievement, especially when you make a difference in a student’s life without even meeting him or her face to face.