- On 09 July 2020
- Tags TEFL Florence
Teaching Online: Some Tips and Tricks
As you know, being able to teach online is a situation EFL teachers can anticipate encountering these days. At Via Lingua, we offer guidance and support to our trainees in preparation to teach in a variety of settings with all types of students. Here’s a snapshot of a few pieces of advice to get you started with online teaching:
- Use your resources for engaging lessons- In any situation, we hope you don’t rely exclusively on a textbook when teaching your English students! Textbooks are useful in the right time and place, but teaching virtually lends itself perfectly to the conversational, communicative method that we teach at Via Lingua. In a video call, having a conversation feels like the most natural thing to do! But, when you need to incorporate some structure and resources to help achieve a particular outcome, use the wealth of online resources that exist to your advantage. Consider using authentic materials like news articles, videos, images, or any of the online lesson materials created by websites like www.eslbrains.com, www.esllibrary.com, www.linguahouse.com, the list goes on and on! You definitely don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
- Do your research before applying- Like any new job you start, do some research about the teaching company you are considering applying for. Of course, look through their website, figure out what the application process is, and read the FAQs. But try to dig a little deeper also and see if you can find reviews or blogs of other teachers who have had experiences with the programs to see what they say about them.
- Make time for a break- At first, teaching at home may seem “easier” because you could, hypothetically, finish breakfast five minutes before your lessons or get up 30 minutes later than you would if you were commuting. But staying in front of a computer screen and watching yourself on a video call for many hours a day is mentally exhausting. Make sure to not book yourself solid day after day! Leave some breaks for yourself to relax, and if possible, make sure to take time away from screens while you’re resting.
- Take your work seriously- You are still offering a professional service to students as a certified TEFL teacher, even if it seems like you’re doing it in a more relaxed way. Even though you might be teaching from home, it is important to still present yourself professionally if you want to maintain a good reputation with your students, and hopefully expand your network to more students. Dress professionally and don’t teach in your pajamas! Consider the setting where you are teaching also. You don’t want your students to see a messy bedroom behind you. Try to position yourself where there is good light, a neat background, and not too many distracting sounds. Finally, invest in your teaching materials. Make sure your technology and internet connection are the right quality and are reliable if you are going to be using it as your “workspace” day in and day out. You want to provide the best experience possible for your students, wherever they are calling you from!