How to Keep Students Motivated When Teaching English Online ✅
For many EFL teachers online teaching provides a convenient opportunity to earn a good income without having to leave your own home. For many others it is an unexpected reality due to recent global events. Whatever your reasons for teaching English online, you will probably find that your students are often tired and lacking in motivation due to too many hours in front of the computer screen and not enough variety in their learning. Unfortunately, the same also applies to many teachers. If you feel you are struggling to keep motivated when teaching online, don’t worry as you are not alone. Take a look at our simple tips for maintaining motivation when teaching English online and you should see some light at the end of the tunnel.
Keep a record of your lessons
Although this might go against the grain for some teachers, it is a well known fact that being organized as a teacher can make your life a lot easier and your lessons more productive. It is a good idea to take some notes after every lesson regarding the material covered and anything worth remembering about individual students and the class as a whole. With the help of regular note taking you should find that it is easier to prepare for future lessons, which should in turn help you feel organized and motivated to continue.
Build rapport with your students
Getting to know your students, and allowing them to get to know you, is a great way to improve the atmosphere of your lessons when teaching online or in-class. By getting to know the likes and dislikes of your students and the things that are important to them you can make informed decisions on the content to include in your lessons. If the student can relate to the content and materials used in their lessons they are more likely to be motivated and enthusiastic about learning which can only be a good thing for the teacher. Having a connection between the teacher and learner can make the difference between having that Monday morning feeling everyday of the week and actually looking forward to catching up with your students.
Take a break
The truth is that the human body is not designed to be sat down all day staring at a screen. Because of this, it is no surprise that any job that involves doing just that, including teaching English online, can be a tough experience. If you find you are teaching multiple lessons back to back, it is likely that your body will protest in some way. A sore back and scratchy eyes are two of the most common complaints when teaching online and these can have a serious affect on your mood and subsequently your performance. The simple solution to this is to take regular breaks throughout the day where you are away from the screen and stretching your body. Even if you can only fit in a few minutes every hour, it can make all the difference to your body and your mood. Heading outside into the fresh air is a particularly good way to clear your head between lessons.
Go easy on yourself
Frontline teaching in any environment is typically a challenging job, but teaching online can sometimes be as hard as it gets. If you are new to teaching in general or simply new to teaching online, just remember that almost all teachers find it tough to start with. However, given time you will learn on the job and as you become more familiar with the technology and the unique environment you are faced with it will all become that much easier. Teaching English online throws up many challenges, but with determination and persistence it will soon become second nature.
Also Read: 4 Essential Tools For Teaching ESL Online
Push the boundaries
Many online teachers make their own life harder by sticking to a minimalist approach to teaching i.e. limiting their resources to nothing more than the Skype or Zoom platform they are using to communicate with. When teaching online you have an abundance of great resources available if you choose to search them out. There are countless websites and apps that are dedicated to English teaching and all it takes is a bit of extra effort to find them and incorporate them into your daily routine. By using all the tools at your disposal you can greatly enhance the quality of your lessons, which is great for both the students and the teacher.
Also Read: How To Start Your Own ESL Teaching Service
Are you ready to teach English online?
For many people teaching English online it could be a reality that is going to last for much longer than you originally planned. Because of this, it is vital that you do everything possible to look after your physical and mental wellbeing. If you don’t, you are likely to lose your motivation and in turn lose the confidence of your students. The bottom line is that teaching English online can be a difficult job if you approach it in the wrong way. In contrast, if you utilize all the tips and advice out there you should find it to be a rewarding experience that allows you a great deal of freedom and flexibility.
Speak with an ITTT advisor today to put together your personal plan for teaching English abroad.
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