How to become an online teacher

Sarah Parker
Authored by Sarah Parker
Posted: Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 14:39

The internet is a great resource for students wanting to learn more about a particular subject, but it has also provided an opportunity for educators to start teaching online. The current global pandemic has caused schools to close for months at a time, and online learning has proved invaluable in helping to continue children’s education. Additionally, home-schooling in the UK has risen by 40% over the last three years.

If you are a teacher yourself and have been asked to work remotely, you may have decided that being an online teacher is more suited to your lifestyle. Here is a short guide to having a successful career teaching online only.

Find the Right Online Learning Platform

There are a great many options to choose from when it comes to online platforms, but rather than use different tools for different tasks, look for one that has everything in one place. A cloud based classroom management tool like, for example, would enable you to see who is online, interact with your students via messaging, and even lock their computers to get their attention. It will even allow you to organise your students according to their location or subjects. Finding an easy to use platform should be your first priority.

Set a Schedule

Next, you’ll need to make sure you stay on track by creating a schedule that works for both you and your students. This doesn’t just mean a weekly schedule either; you’ll need a planner that sets out goals and dates for the next few months or even year. Look at how often you will be able to publish a new class, how many students can attend, and the different resources you are going to need. Working from home requires a huge amount of self-discipline, but as a teacher, you’ll need to be super organised. If you want to pursue online teaching as a part-time role on top of your current occupation, setting a schedule will ensure you can fit it around your other commitments.

Find Ways to Keep Your Students Engaged

For students and teachers learning online, it significantly reduces the opportunities for face-to-face interaction. However, while this is the preferred way of learning for those who choose to study online, it is important to maintain student engagement. This becomes more difficult when you aren’t able to read body language and be more hands-on, but you can overcome this by allowing time for discussion, devising exercises that allow students to practice any skills they have learned, and sending prompts when any projects are due.

You will also want to make sure you break up any online sessions into short 15-minute chunks. Any longer than this and students will lose focus, so try to pause for breaks, summarise what you have just said, or leave time for questions and answers.

Online teaching takes a lot of work and determination, but if you have the drive and qualifications, you have the perfect base to get started.