After the shutdown of all schools, millions of K-12 students are engaged in online schooling, which is the new way of learning. Online teachers have adapted themselves to this new way of teaching online through digital tools. What works in a traditional setting of teaching might not work when it comes to online teaching. A good educator knows that successful online schooling takes creativity, specialized training, proper use of digital tools, discipline, knowledge of the curriculum, and a lot of preparation.
Instead of setting up a physical classroom, teachers prepare their lessons by learning advanced technologies, developing lesson plans designed for remote instruction and new ideas to keep students engaged. In virtual classrooms also, the role of a teacher is equally important like in a classroom teacher to support the success of students. Here we will talk about 8 skills or qualities of a good teacher:
Essential Qualities of a Good Online Teacher
1. State Certification and Curriculum Expertise
This is common for offline and online teachers, they should have a state certification that indicates they are qualified to teach. The requirement may vary but getting a professional teaching certification requires at least a bachelor’s degree and a certificate in grade and subject areas they would like to teach. There are many online applications that only have certified teachers for a better future for all students. They are exceptionally knowledgeable and ready to deliver an excellent education. A good online teacher should be able to put across the concepts in a way that's easily digestible.
2. Technical Skills
In online classes, teachers need to know some basics of computers and should be comfortable with the latest online tools and technology. Using technology daily can help teachers stay up to date with the latest innovations. Nowadays, teachers should be tech-savvy because they may need to help students and parents learn new online tools, especially at the beginning of the year. They need to know about the Learning management system of their school. There are various digital tools and education technology platforms used by teachers to communicate with the parents throughout the year. A good teacher should not only master the basics but be ready to keep learning as new tools come or technology evolves.
After the digitization of education, teachers who are creative and think outside of the box are well-suited to help students succeed. In online learning, there are many ways to teach creatively like using infographics, audio, games, and many more. It takes creativity to keep students engaged and to use these tools in online classes. Creativity in online classes also helps students to retain information more effectively. An online class environment allows for a mix of live classes, creative assignments, project-based fun activities, that help students to try and learn something new every day.
4. Good Communication Skills
This sudden shift of online schooling is new for K-12 students and parents, so communication and building trust is a key. A good online teacher should b friendly and have good communication skills to make students feel comfortable during classes. They should talk to each student individually to solve their doubts and to clear their concepts. There should be a friendly relationship between teachers and students so that students don’t hesitate in sharing their problems. It is essential to maintain a friendly environment and a supportive learning system, starting on the first day of school.
In virtual classrooms, regular and consistent feedback is very important to make it a success. While there may not be quizzes or tests everyday, teachers can evaluate performance by having daily discussions in live classes or by giving any task on a regular basis. Teachers should check in with students to evaluate their performance and offer suggestions. Regular feedback is very important to make the performance of students better each passing day in online classes.
After this sudden shift to the online mode of teaching, students have many queries and doubts from logging in to the classes to using the various tools. It is a quality of a good online teacher that they make every interaction a positive experience, even from a distance. When students know that they have the support of their dedicated teachers, they feel encouraged to try new things, inspired to ask questions and comfortable in seeking help when they need it. Teachers should notice the activities of every student, if any student is falling behind or struggling, they should have a separate session with them to help them stay motivated.
It is important for everyone that they should be passionate about their profession. In online classes, students will be motivated by the enthusiasm of the teacher through every online session and interaction. A good online teacher shows interest and energy by coming up with new ways to keep students engaged in online live sessions. Teachers should be fueled by the passion for teaching, to go above and beyond to support the needs of every student.
8. Time management
After the guidelines of the central government on the duration of hours of online classes, it is very important for teachers to manage their time wisely in online classes. They don’t need to teach 24/7, but they should be regular and should follow an effective plan throughout the week. When grading time comes around, you should be ready to provide detailed and formative feedback on every assignment while still discussing the class. All these activities need good time management for making it a success.
So, these were some of the qualities of a good online teacher that are essential for online teaching. However, skills can be learned if you want to, that doesn’t mean if you don’t have any one of the qualities, then you are not good. To make online education a success, educators should be willing to learn and should develop their skills.