Maybe you’re thinking about teaching English online and you’re excited to jump right in. Or maybe you’re feeling a bit hesitant and you’re not sure if teaching English will be right for you. Today I’m going to share one thing I wish I’d thought about before I started teaching English online.
Before I started teaching English online, I remember just being excited. Teaching English sounded fun and I like people so I thought that it would be pretty straightforward.
During my first interview, one of the questions they asked me was…
Why do you want to be a teacher?
Simple enough I thought. I said that I enjoy meeting and talking with different people from different backgrounds and that I think I could make a difference. Then they asked me…
How would you make a difference and what skills would you bring to the classroom to make that difference?
This is where I got a bit stumped. You see I hadn’t really thought too much about what it means to be a teacher. I had thought about finding a job and getting paid to teach but I really hadn’t thought about what an English teacher does or how to be successful teaching.
This is what I wish I had taken more time to think about before I got started. There is so much more to teaching English than I originally thought. Thankfully at my first job teaching, I received a lot of training and my employers were very patient and were willing to give me time to learn.
Avoid making the same mistake as me!
If you are thinking about teaching English online take some time to think about why you want to teach. Also, think about this in relation to your own personal development.
- First, what are your motivations?
- Think about what skills you have.
- What more do you want to know about before you start?
A quick exercise to get you thinking
Think about what makes a good teacher. Here’s an exercise to help you get started.
When you were in school, who did you like as a teacher? Why did you like them? Was it the content of the class, their manner of teaching or how they made you feel? Take a few minutes to think about this.
Now for you, what kind of teacher do you want to be?
What makes a good English teacher?
So what makes a good teacher? Think about the following qualities:
- Good communication. The success of your class often depends on you building a good relationship with your students. You need good communication to build and sustain relationships in the classroom.
- More than just words. Your interactions with your students will be more than just words. It includes body language, your tone of voice, warmth, and enthusiasm.
- Good subject knowledge and a real interest in the subject. You also need to be able to transmit this knowledge to your students in a simple and easy way.
- You need to know how to teach English. Sounds silly but it takes skill to teach someone else. In the language learning world, this is called pedological knowledge.
- Being flexible and able to adjust to changing circumstances.
- Sensitivity to the needs of your students and the challenges they face.
- Also giving attention to your own development as a teacher. Being willing to keep asking questions, learning and trying new approaches.
Sounds like a lot right? Well don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Learning a few new skills and adapting and using the skills you already possess will enable you to get to a good start teaching English.
If you would like to get help developing your skills and preparing to get started teaching English online, check out my course You Can Teach English Online! It was developed to help you fast-track your way to feeling confident teaching, getting past the interview process and landing a great job teaching English online.
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So what do you think, if you were going to judge a teacher what would you look for? Comment below and let me know your thoughts!
Wow! This has helped me to strongly consider becoming an Online English Teacher.
Thanks so much, I’m sure this will help me to put my fear aside and press on to teach online