I’ve been teaching online for 20 years now and over this past 4 months we’ve seen nearly all the Genki English teachers move online at some point or another.
So here are my top five tips:
1. Don’t change it. Keep doing what you’re doing!
Making the shift to online, either temporarily or permanently, is a mostly a mindset shift. If you have a good teaching system in place, although it seems like there might be, once you get started there isn’t really that much difference between offline and online. So keep the stress low by teaching how you’re teaching now. Same curriculum, same lessons, same students, same time of day. Later on of course we can look at changing it up and really making the most of the online opportunities!
2. Make sure you share your screen AND share your audio
This is the biggest rookie mistake I see from newbie online teachers (yeah, I made it too 🙂 ) Make sure you click the box to share your *audio* as well as sharing your screen when using online videos or English teaching software. Otherwise you can hear it, but the students can’t!
3. Stand up 🙂
There’s a reason teachers traditionally teach standing up. It’s better for us, we learn, and teach, better stood up and the human body just isn’t designed to sit down for long periods of time. So invest in a standing desk (or even better one that can be used stood and sit down) or …. improvise 🙂
4. Great games only need a few tweaks!
I’ve been teaching online for 20 years now and when I first started I thought I had to completely redo all my lesson plans and especially the games. And you know what we found? If it’s a great game that works offline, it nearly always works online too! You’re stood up, the kids are stood up and getting them moving around is sooo welcome after all the “sit down, shut up” zoom lessons they get from other teachers. You might just need to tweak a few rules, and you know who the best people to help with that are? The students of course, so do ask them. As always with the right games they learn so much more 🙂
5. Don’t be scared of the numbers
Genki English teachers have been teaching full classes online in Asia since the time of Sars and Mers and other school-closing events. However when the Coronavirus first hit Europe in March 2020 we had quite a few teachers who were a little apprehensive of taking their 8, 16 or 32 kid classes online. Yep, it’s a fear if you’ve not done it before. But you know what we do with fear? We dance with it 🙂 So give it a try. With all your students. After 1 or maybe 2 lessons of chaos you’ll quickly realize that, again, it’s not that much different. This year I’ve personally been in zoom classes with over 2,000 people and in one the other day with 250,000 people! If you’ve got the right charisma (i.e. teaching confidence) and the right materials you can do it too. It’s all baby steps.
Bonus Tip: Many Cam
If you’re using Windows then get the Manycam software to help you with Zoom lessons. You’ll be blown away by what it can do for you 🙂
✨ And if you want lots more ideas as well as video coaching on how to teach English online, we’ve got a special 6 part video training series that’s part of the Genki English community and is currently a bonus included with the Genki English Teacher’s Set. Do check it out, I think you’re going to have lots of fun teaching online and now that you are online, your teaching business is basically recession proof as you can now attract a waiting list of new students from all over the world ( yep, we have a bonus on how to do that too in with the Teacher’s Set!)