I've been teaching English online for over 6 years now, and I've seen probably all types of practices teachers do. Some of these practices are “good” but some of them are plain irresponsible. To make sure that you're on the right track, I've compiled a list of good practices that can serve as your guideline when teaching English online.
1. Always come to class prepared.
What kind of preparation should you do? Lesson planning, of course. Not many people take this seriously because of two main reasons. First, for seasoned teachers, they've already memorized their lessons, so they do not find it necessary to come up with new sets of activities. The problem with recycled lessons is that they are not customized to the needs of a particular student. Second, most of the online classes last only for 10 minutes. That means that a teacher can have 6 students crammed in an hour, and that he'll have to prepare for 6 different lessons.
While this can be exhausting, remember that as a teacher, it's your responsibility to plan ahead of the class.
2. Always be on time.
In online English teaching, the importance of sticking to your study time can not be overly emphasized. If you're late in one class, the consequence can be damaging to both you and your student's schedule.
3. Provide constructive feedback.
Constructive feedback and corrections can motivate your students to study more. They love to hear the areas that they need to work on, and they're receptive to your suggestions on how they can improve. In addition, your students love it when you tell them their progress, if they've progressed at all. They appreciate your honesty, so take some time to make a thorough assessment of your students' skills and discuss it with them.
4. Maximize the study time.
Online English classes are very short. In e-companies, the standard time is only 10 minutes over the phone, a fact that most people find it hard to believe. After all, how can you teach in just a short amount of time? But trust me when I say that you can actually teach in 10 minutes. All you have to do is to hone your time management skills.
5. Go beyond the lesson in the book.
A good teacher incorporates topics and lessons not included in the book. As an English teacher, your objective is to teach your students how to speak the language fluently. So go beyond the book's activities. Do not be satisfied with the student giving you the correct answers. Instead, present real-life situations and give your student lots of practice opportunities.
6. Give lots of practice opportunities.
Many online English teachers can not control their teacher-student ratio. Most of the time, they end up talking more than the student. They love explaining concepts, and they expect the student to listen and be receptive to their explanations. While sometimes, you need to do this, make sure to give your students a lot of opportunities to express himself and apply what they have learned.