Choosing the Right Online Teacher: Insights From Moms
January 9, 2024
by tiffany young, guest contributor
More parents are customizing their kids’ education than ever before, choosing their schools, curriculums, and teachers. It’s not uncommon for parents to opt for a hybrid model of homeschooling topped off with online teachers for more specialized subjects.
If you’re considering something similar for your family, or simply arranging extra education to teach them new skills, picking the best teacher is critical. We’ve prepared a few qualities to watch for when selecting an online instructor.
Creativity Within Lesson Plans
It’s often difficult for students to stay engaged and active when sitting in front of a screen. This adds a layer of importance to creative lesson planning, as educators need to keep it compelling enough to hold attention while covering the required content.
Not only that, but creativity within the lesson can be very helpful for a student. This is because creativity helps boost:
- Desire to learn
When searching for an online instructor, be sure that they are creative and innovative in their teaching styles and lesson plans.
A Willingness to be Flexible and Adapt
Being an online instructor requires a certain amount of flexibility and ability to adapt, as it is the nature of the job. Demonstrating these qualities is also beneficial to the teacher and student, especially in unforeseen or difficult circumstances.
Having a flexible educator is crucial for your student when:
- An unexpected or traumatic event happens that affects their work
- They have certain learning exceptionalities or disabilities
- They struggle in a particular subject
An educator's adaptability and adjustability can be discovered upon meeting them. You can ask questions about how they run their classroom and what they do when unprecedented situations arise.
They’re Easy to Communicate and Work With
Online schooling requires additional communication, as educators are not always available to meet in person. It’s not only essential but also convenient to have a teacher who is easy to communicate and work with. This is because:
- You and the instructor can be open about how to best help your student with their education
- You and the instructor can brainstorm how to have household fun while supporting online learning
- You can let the instructor know If there are hiccups with any assignments or why there are missed days
Through seamless communication, the educator can know what is going on in your child's life and their learning needs, thus enhancing learning for your scholar.
They Hold the Best Interest of Your Child
Overall, your students' education is the most important aspect when looking for a teacher. You want to be sure that the instructor is there to teach what will support their overall happiness, health, and success in life. You can tell the instructor holds the best interest of your child if:
- They understand and address your child’s specific needs and wants
- They emphasize WHY what they teach will be helpful and important
- They care about preparing your student for what comes after the last day of class
If and when you interview them initially, you can be sure to ask them about their curriculum, and how it supports these points.
They Maintain Certain Qualifications
You probably wouldn’t want just anyone to educate your child. Having proper qualifications and certifications to teach is a must. Upon meeting the online instructor, be sure they are:
- Certified to teach
- Qualified to teach the subjects they will be covering with your student(s)
- An experienced teacher
- Safe to work with students
For the best learning experience, having a teacher with proper education and training is vital. Learning this information is easy to accomplish when looking for the right online teacher
Will Fit the Unique Needs of Your Student
Children often have contrasting needs when it comes to how they learn. Some students:
- Have a hard time sitting still
- Don’t like school
- Struggle academically
- Have a need for in-person interaction
In addition to unique struggles, every student learns differently. Some children learn better by seeing, hearing, or problem-solving. Others learn better by talking about what they are learning or experiencing a hands-on approach.
It’s helpful to find an educator who can identify their learning style, and is willing to work on their level. This will make an impactful difference for the student.
Demonstrates Passion and Charisma for Learning
How an educator feels about what they do will likely be manifested in how they teach. If they feel bored with the job, their lessons may feel uninteresting. However, if they are excited and passionate about learning, they will make their lessons feel that way.
When your student has a passionate and charismatic teacher, it will likely help them to feel:
- More passionate and excited
- More engaged during instruction
- More inspired
The way an educator teaches can shape the learning experience of your scholar for the better.
Making the Right Call for Your Child
With more teachers than ever before available online, it’s a good idea to identify the qualities in a teacher that matter most to you and your child. Having the right educator will make a tremendous difference in their learning path, and can help inspire them long after the last day of class.
Play with a Purpose: Educational Play
“Learning through play is a term used in education and psychology to describe how a child can learn to make sense of the world around them. Through play, children can develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments.” -Human Growth and the Development of Personality, by Jack Kahn and Susan Elinor Wright