Do we blame the Pandemic for giving us this unique method of teaching online. Here are some tips for teachers. Definitely with the COVID 19 and social distancing the teachers today are trying their best to keep the children engaged with the online teaching. But I am sure you miss the spontaneous moments. All evolving teachers are learning all new different tools to make their classes fun and useful.

Teachers shifting to Online tools have different experiences. Some teachers find the time management a big task whereas the other may find engaging the students during teaching online a big task. However, some teachers may worry whether the students have really understood the lesson while the other may feel that once the novelty of online learning wears off students will lose motivation.

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Let’s discuss a few tips tips for teachers to keep the online teaching fun and engaging. This short video will give you an insight on how to plan and conduct the online classes.

Plan & Prioritise:

Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.

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The first step among tips for teachers is to this is understanding completely what is involved with each assignment or task.

How can you then prioritise when you are yourself not clear about the full scope of the task? So, get help with your peers, ask, discuss and then prioritise.

Next, tips for teachers is rank each task by its importance, scope and due date. Next, determine how many hours will be needed to set aside each one and then give deadlines accordingly. Give yourself time to prepare.

An effective technique for prioritizing assignments is taking care of the bigger, more urgent items first, then tackling the smaller assignments that won’t take up as much time. As you get tired, the harder assignments are out of the way, and you’re left with the easier more manageable ones. Prioritize your assignments ahead of time and create a roadmap so you’re not behind before you even begin! Learning how to prioritize takes practice, but after you get a rhythm, you’ll be an old pro at it!

Your students are not physically near you makes it all the more difficult for you to keep them engaged. They may be at a different zone completely and you will have to bring order to their lives. Be sure to have your syllabus and materials ready and laid out before the class. Send out communication via email for the class details and contents no matter which grade you are teaching. This will help the parents and students be ready with details themselves. Please do not give surprises by saying, “Surprise Quiz Today”. Infact say like; “Surprise Quiz Due by Midnight.”

While planning lessons please ensure to think Short Term and Long Term and Prioritise your online teaching lessons accordingly. It may not be easy at first since for the students online teaching will also be a similar challenge as for you. They will also struggle to come online. Initially getting their attention to study would be very difficult however over the period of time you will find yourself connecting. I am sure you will miss the pat in the back, a hand through the hair of the students as you talk to them. Oh! Eye contact which will be most difficult, but no worries you all will get used to it.

You will also find some students completely unresponsive, suggest you may plan doing one to one sessions along with the parents to understand their issues.

Master Technology:

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. However, no machine can do the work of an extraordinary man – Elbert Hubbart

This short video helps you to set up your online classroom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_pwLfSsQko

As technology has rooted its way into our day to day existence, education has been changed. Long gone are days of thumbing through an encyclopedia. Now with technology, we have information at our fingertips, learning is now boundless where technology has become a force multiplier for teachers. Switching form, the blackboard to Technology may not be easy for everybody. As a tip for teachers doing online teaching, learning a few Knacks in Technology will give you a long-term perspective. Invest in the right hardware and software. You need a reliable computer, a strong internet connection, and the best platform to suit your needs.

Be part of an online professional community beyond your school. Decide your skills and areas that need focused attention and then reach out online for immediate materials for your needs. Videos are great as teaching aids and grabs the children attention. Giving more understanding and focus to Online Teaching.

Enroll in Education Webinars which will help you with your teaching issues and give you a chance to ask questions not only to your peers but also to the professionals in the community. Find a trusted website that offers ideas, videos for learning, and other materials. I will suggest that you take a look at The Henry Harvin teaching blogs; https://www.henryharvin.com/blog/best-resources-for-teaching-english-online/

This is a great sight which gives you insight on the latest online teaching tools.

Most important to keep a check here is on technical snags. Be responsive to any technical glitches and accelerate schedule to resolve them and ensure that the students vacuum are cleared due to such snags.

Think of forming an online peer group in which you involve more members. This will give you an opportunity of discussing your challenges with your peer and who knows you may come up with new innovative solutions. Do not set boundaries for yourself that you cannot work with the technology. Enjoy this change and give this enjoyments in your online teaching classes as well. Talk with your students how you failed in doing certain things and believe me that you will have these students coming up with help and solutions as the generation today is much more tech savvy then us.

Professional Work Environment:

Do not work from the bed. You want your bed to be a place of peace and calm not of work stress.

Set up a pace for yourself in some quiet uncluttered corner wherein you could do your Online Teaching without any disturbances. This space will also give you time to plan and have your documentation ready beforehand. You would want this space to be serene, friendly, and inviting, but also encourage productive behavior. If you kind find anything use your dining table to set up your workspace.

Do not use the bed, as correct posture for long hours will be important. Note this as a vital among the tips for teachers. Set up boundaries for your professional and personal time. Keep your work environment free of distractions like Television, other family members or household chores. Natural lighting and an ergonomic chair can go a long way in setting up your ideal work environment. The space will also be an ideal place for planning your lessons, having the art work or print out ready for the sessions. You could even think of setting up a small library of the sessions taken.

Oh! The most important bit do not forget to record your sessions. This is helping you create your work register of the classes or sessions taken. The recordings can be ideal to do new or repeated sessions and you can also go back and watch these recordings and improve. Take breaks in between and do not become lazy with your breakfast and lunch routines. If you have small kids you will have to manage time and space accordingly. Take help from other family members at home. Do not be hercules and try to do everything on your own.

Innovate and Stimulate Discussions:

Nothing changes if nothing changes

This video helps you to set up google classrooms:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6L-nZGIUTE

We stay the same and do not grow. We need to bring about positive changes so we need to start a discussion and help ourselves to innovate new methods and tips for teachers for teaching and learning.

As the students lead the class once a week. This will get them involved. Involve the parents and the students by asking suggestions for new ways to learn. You could get the parents involved by evaluating the class. Schedule one-to-one with students to monitor their well-being. Have a simple template for discussion which once done should be shared with the student. This will also make a record for your information. Exploit what online teaching tools have to offer. Lear to hand out Emojis whenever in a situation.

Stay flexible and be ready to change schedules, timings and your teaching strategies. What worked in physical classrooms may not work here. Some students will be very responsive while there may be others who will be completely unresponsive. You need to be flexible with a strategy for the unresponsive students. You may need to plan some extra online teaching or assignments for them. To target the unresponsive students, you may look at revisions of writing assignments or probably involving the parent to help.

Communication is the key to it. Make sure that emails are sent well in advance with follow up reminders. This will help you to ensure maximum participation. Will be good to make WhatsApp group as well and similar notifications can be sent out accordingly.

Motivate:

We cannot help everyone but everyone can help someone.

Watch this short video on how teachers can be great inspirations for their students.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypFRxw9czi4

To motivate students online, provide opportunities for students to personally connect to the subject matter; have students set their own goals; set up a system for self-monitoring and progress-tracking; encourage students to collaborate with you on the syllabus or course reading material; and act as the facilitator, rather than transmitter, of information.

As a teacher remember that everyone learns differently and motivation plays a very big part in the learning process. Most important is that you have to be self-motivated to motivate in your class. So enjoy what you are teaching. Let the class be interactive. Have fun watch a lot of videos. While some students are very enthusiastic in learning anything new, while there may be some students who will struggle with completing their assignments.

Think of ways to motivate your students to get the most of your class. This may include in giving extra marks for online discussions or optional assignments. Giving deadlines may also help push your demotivated students to complete their assignments. Your goal is to find ways to help your students get the most out of your class without the benefit that a Physical presence brings. Remember it’s not easy for your students to not have you in the class physically present all the more for them to have fun and not study.

Feedback:

Criticism like rain should be gentle enough to nurture a man’s growth without destroying his roots.

This is an must follow tips for teachers and key to improvement. Ensure to take both verbal and written feedback. End of the week you could have a small questionnaire of feedbacks circulated and collected for your records. Communicate and communicate with the students and the parents. Be available whenever required for queries. We do not say that you should be doing this 24×7 however fix up days for feedbacks and queries. One to one student and parent sessions be planned once every month so that the pace of the class can be determined. Going back to your peer community with any issues can keep giving you immediate solutions.

Be open to criticism and always be constructive in the feedback you give. This will increase productivity and keep your group motivated. Remember Education is all about sharing your knowledge the more you share the more you gain. Be consistent in providing your feedback. I have experienced that feedback which comes within the next 24 to 48 hours is usually read with a lot enthusiasm. Try to follow this routine as this will show your commitment towards the learning which will also be a motivating factor to the students.

Overall, online education is a wonderful opportunity. The potential flexibility is an undeniable benefit. It is a growing market for educators – and therefore an exciting career development opportunity. You could have the potential to reach students you would never, could never, meet in a physical classroom. Online teaching isn’t something to jump into, mind you. But, it also really isn’t as daring as it seems. Do your research, plan your methods, and take the leap. Online teaching is relatively new, so there really isn’t one set way to do it. With some research and preparation, you could find yourself on the forefront of the online educational movement.

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