The pandemic has changed our lives to a great extent in ways which we never expected. One of the greatest changes that has occurred is the transition from classroom-style teaching to online education. Online mode of education is new to many and it has its own challenges. Online tutoring requires tuition teachers to adopt some new strategies to teach.
Many tutors may not be sure as to how they can remain relevant through this change. Teaching can be a little “dry” and keeping it interactive can be truly challenging. So, here is a guide for tutors to hone their teaching skills and change their methods to conduct effective lessons.
THE BIG CHANGE
Teachers need to understand that until the pandemic is over, they will not be able to live the normal life that they are used to. For teachers who are still able to teach in schools, the only difference is that they would have to teach while wearing face masks or face shields.
However, teachers who are unable to teach face-to-face and are forced to teach online, have to adapt to a lot of sudden changes. It is impossible to shift to distance learning overnight and it is important for teachers to understand the necessity of planning to be able to successfully teach online. Teachers will have to accept and understand the changes that they will have to make and plan for it as early as possible instead of worrying.
TRANSITION INTO ONLINE PLATFORM
After the closing of schools, education systems have responded by arranging asynchronous and synchronous lessons using different technologies. Given such an open-ended and new way of teaching, many teachers may be confused. Teachers can make this transition easier by doing their own personal research into the online platforms and tools that they will be using to conduct their lessons.
These online platforms usually have many features that new user may not immediately understand. Thus, putting in the extra time to understand the platforms will help teachers be better prepared for their lessons. Education during this pandemic may seem to be a true challenge but we are left with no choice but to accept this reality.
Online lessons are always less interactive than face to face lessons no matter how much effort teachers may put in. Thus, online lessons generally tend to be less effective whether they like it or not. Thus, if allowed by the educational institute, teachers should request to reduce the workload or distribute it over a longer time period.
This is firstly beneficial for the students. Online lessons may make it harder for them to learn the content and if they are given the same amount of workload, they will end up lagging behind. Secondly, it is also beneficial for teachers. Online lessons usually end up taking more of teachers’ free time and the reduced workload will help to make up for this lost time.
Humans are generally social animals and require interaction with others to remain happy. Introverts may beg to differ and appreciate the isolation they get from quarantine. But the truth is that having absolutely no interaction with others is unhealthy for everyone. Thus, teachers should put in the effort to speak to their colleagues. This enables them to still maintain the positive relationship that they would have had if schools were open.
By talking with colleagues, teachers can also learn tips and tricks to cope with the situation. They can share tips to conduct lessons as well. Thus, teachers also need to spend some of their free time with their students. This can be through arranging time slots for playing games such as scribbl.io and mafia or simply just talking about life.
When conducting online lessons, teachers need to be prepared for all the hurdles that they may face. One main hurdle is an unstable internet connection. Some teachers may have no choice but to conduct lessons from a location with a weak internet connection and this can result in a lot of disruption during lessons. Thus, it is up to the teacher to come up with an alternative solution. This can be in the form of asynchronous lessons or pre-recorded lessons.
Similarly, some students may not have a stable internet connection or even have devices that can access the learning platform. Thus, it is important for teachers to be prepared to deal with this problem as they cannot just leave certain students behind. Teachers need to ensure that no student is left behind in this.
On top of online lessons, teachers should prepare either video summaries or a compilation of lesson materials so that these students are still able to keep up with the lessons. Online lessons also pose a problem in equipment as teachers may have subpar laptops, microphones or webcams. It is thus important for teachers to invest in these types of equipment or request them from their educational institute if possible.
This is a challenging time for many of us. However, staying positive and making the necessary changes to adapt and roll with the punches is essential. Teachers need not stress themselves about this transition. Instead, keeping a mindset that this is a learning process will be a healthy way to approach this situation.