Some of the most common questions I get from online teachers are...
"How can I get more students?"
"Why are my classes not getting good reviews?"
"What can I do to get students to sign up for more classes with me?"
More often than not, these teachers are making one of the top 3 mistakes in online teaching. In case this might be you, let's explore these mistakes (and how to correct them!).
The first mistake of online teaching is trying to teach your class just like you would in a brick and mortar classroom. It's difficult to keep the kids engaged when you're teaching through a screen, right? This is one of the biggest complaints I've heard from online teachers! So how do you keep the students' engagement and focus?
"Edutainment" is one of my favorite new words for this industry. It basically just means engaging students through total physical response (TPR). Total physical response is using movements and prompting to keep the students engaged. For example, when you ask your students a question, point to your forehead as if trying to think of an answer. When wanting a verbal response, cup your hand around your ear and lean in to prompt the students to give their responses. This will absolutely feel silly and overdramatic at first, but the more engaged you are, the more engaged your students will be!
The second biggest mistake I see is teaching outside of your "genius zone." What does this mean exactly? Your genius zone is the topic or age range of students that you have a passion for. I love working with preschool kids, but trying to teach kids in junior high or the subject of chemistry would be way outside of my genius zone. If you don't love what you're teaching, you won't be as passionate in class. So then how can you expect your students to stay engaged? Stick to your area of expertise!
The third biggest mistake I've seen in online teaching is avoiding the use of educational technology and using the wrong tools. New tech and online teaching can be scary to jump into, but we can't avoid something just because it's new and different! One of the best tips I've been given to stay up-to-date in technology (and not become overwhelmed) is to focus on one new tool at a time. Once you've become confident with that tool, share your expertise with fellow online teachers (and learn from their expertise, too)! You can add more tools after you've become an expert in one, but don't try to do it all at once!
Show up online and teach with confidence by signing up for my digital course: Love What You Teach. This course was specifically created to help you break down the barriers and debunk the myths of online teaching. Want to teach the things you're most passionate about to kids who are excited to learn it? This course was made for YOU. If you've got questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]. Be sure to check out this video to hear more about the top 3 online teaching mistakes and Love What You Teach.