With the situation the world is going through right now with COVID-19, everyone is wondering: What should I do now? If that’s your case, I have good news for you. There’s an answer for you, and that is: Online teaching.
If you used to teach in a regular setting where students used to come to a traditional classroom, chances are you’re struggling right now.
As people cannot leave their houses, they cannot attend classes with you. They also have a lot of spare time in their hands.
This is a GOLDEN opportunity for online teachers. There’s never been more demand.
So, if you have a skill, you can teach it to others online. It doesn’t matter whether you are an English teacher or used to give pottery classes. The best part is you can do it remotely, without them having to come to a physical location.
In this article, I will show you five steps to become an online teacher and THRIVE during the crisis.
7 Steps To Start Teaching Online
1. Define Your Niche.
The first step you need to take is to define your niche and the ideal type of student you are looking for.
- What specific topic you want to teach
- Who’s your ideal student?
Let’s say you want to give online fitness lessons. That’s great! Now you need to target a specific audience.
Are you looking to teach younger students? Maybe you have more experience helping women get in shape. Maybe you like teaching people how to exercise without any equipment…
Whatever you are specialized in, use it to define the type of lessons you will give and the ideal students you will target.
2. Prepare Your Classes.
Planning is essential for an online classroom environment. Although there will be times in the future where you will want to be more spontaneous, you need to start by preparing a lesson plan that will guide you through your class.
That way, you will have something to rely on and won’t feel the anxiety of running out of activities for your students.
3. Get Some Basic Equipment.
Teaching online requires a little bit of knowledge of certain tools. But, don’t worry! They are not as complicated as people make them look. With a little bit of practice and some lessons taught, you will be a master in no time!
Depending on the type of lessons you want to teach, you will require some hardware and software to start teaching. So, do your research on what you will need.
For most online teachers, the things you will likely need are: a reliable computer, a strong internet connection, a headset (to provide great audio quality), a camera, and some software that allows students to have a videocall with you (usually Skype or Zoom)
You can start with this, and get more specialized equipment and tools as you move forward.
4. Get A Website
As we mentioned in a previous article, having a website will give you the credibility you need for students to see you as a professional. It will also allow them to learn more about you, read testimonials from your previous students and see the results they got.
It could also be a great way for them to contact you, download the free resources you offer, and enter your community.
Fortunately, there are tools like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace that make building a website easily. So, don’t worry, you won’t have to learn programming or hire a web designer for this step.
5. Find a Community
Now that you have your platform ready, it’s time to get some students!
For this step, you need to go to the online places where they meet. Facebook groups are usually a great place to start with.
For example, if you are an Online English Teacher (like me!) just type “Learn English” on the Facebook Search Bar, look for groups that have a lot of activity, and join them.
6. Share Valuable Content
After you join, you need to be active within these communities. Share valuable content, reply to questions, comment on other people’s posts ,and so on.
The idea here is you become an expert within this community, and a go-to source to reply to doubts and seek advice.
7. Offer Your Services
After you have engaged with the community for a while, start writing personalized proposals to potential students you have added value to in the past.
There’s a word of caution, however. Do not spam the same proposals to a lot of people in the group, or you could get banned from the community. What you want is to present yourself to every student as a solution to their problem.