5 Critical Components You Should Know About Teaching Online
In China, there are tens of millions of parents who want their children to learn English. And, many parents in China are not satisfied with the traditional Chinese classroom style. The usual way of teaching still encourages rote memorization, a lack of creative practice, and a strong focus on standardized tests.
And, they are looking for educators outside of their native country, seeking American English teachers who want to work directly with their kids in an online, live, face-to-face environment. And, many teachers from the U.S. are increasingly looking for other options outside of the standard classroom.
This high demand for learning English online has grown into a multi-billion dollar education market, where Chinese startups are looking to bring in curriculum and educators from the U.S. as well as Canada-all through online based learning.
If you are an American teacher who is thinking of teaching online classes to the Chinese population from your own living room, there are various things you should know regarding teaching, culture, expectations, and ways to meet the needs of these new students who will quickly arrive on your home computer.
The following tips come from the educators at HAWO American Academy, and can help you get started should you decide online teaching is right for you.
Basic Online Teaching Tips
- Be an active listener during teacher training
- Pay close attention to the students and parents
- Put away distractions while teaching
- Dress professional
- Since you make your own schedule, do everything in your power to attend classes
- Be flexible as things can change quickly
- Come to class prepared, review class content, and make changes when necessary
- If you’re not sure about something, be sure to ask
- Be respectful to the support team as they are there to help you
- Don’t give up right away because it can take time to get into a good pattern
- Be friendly, but do not share personal information with students or parents
Pedagogical Tips: Teaching Strategies That Work
- Remember that every student is coming in at a different English level
- All students learn differently-accommodate learning needs when possible
- If you begin to have regular students, focus on what works and build upon those strategies
- When possible, get to know your students’ backgrounds, and relate the lessons to areas that have meaning in their lives–this will help them learn English easier
- Make the class fun, and remember that the meaning of fun can be different for all of your students
- Remember that your mood sets the tone of the class immediately
- Once you know a student’s level, raise the bar a little bit
- Children and adult learners are different and will have various needs (kids like to sing, dance and laugh). Get to know your adult learners’ needs and change your teaching/lessons accordingly
- Provide a great deal of encouragement, praise and smile often
- For young students–movement, singing, and dancing are encouraged (if the child responds well to these actions, use them)
- To encourage creativity, ask open-ended questions
Cultural Tips: What Teachers Should Know About Working With The Chinese Culture
- Practice kindness and compassion
- Remember that you are working within a different culture that has different values
- Keep an open mind regarding different behaviors you may witness while teaching (i.e., discipline, parental expectations)
- The Chinese culture encourages rote memorization in their education system. The American education system has a balance of both creativity and memorization. Encourage creative thinking.