Teaching is really tough. Especially for a guy like me that really don’t have previous teaching experience. So what were my only tools in teaching, you may ask?
1. Lot of Guts
I’ve always loved the English language even when I was a kid, modesty aside. Especially having been working for a call center for more than 7 years and immersing myself in the Western culture, people I talk to in the States would often mistake me as one of them or at least someone who have lived there for quite a while now.
Every time, I would just smile and say: “Nope, I haven’t stepped into any foreign land before — ever, lest been to the U.S. in my natural-born life”. So given that English language my niche, I took it as a challenge to teach it to anybody who would want to learn from me.
Then one day, I was given a call from my would-be employer asking if I wanted to teach English to Koreans, Taiwanese or Japanese students from an ad I posted in sulit.com.ph where I was advertising to be an online English teacher.
Without a moment’s hesitation, I immediately said YES and took the offer. A gutsy move that is now paying off for me – seriously.
2. Careful (lesson) planning
Now that I’ve been hired as an online teacher, the problem I had was on how to start? What do I do? How do I interact with the students? What would be my teaching method?…. and that list went on and on and on…
So Google became my best friend. It was there that I learned what a lesson plan was, how it was made and got some free samples as well. I have no “standard” lesson plan that I follow since my online teaching as on a one-on-one basis and would differ based from the student’s needs and understanding of the English language.
3. Proper scheduling
Since I’m still working at a call center at night AND working as an online teacher during the day, I had to make sure my schedule doesn’t explode in my face and still be able to give more time for, sleep, blogging, family and personal time. The trick was on maximizing it. So it was important for me to make a detailed schedule for it.
4. Listen to your inner-teacher
Anybody can be a teacher — only if you listen to the inner-teacher in you. It’s the one that would say to you things that you need to do to improve your teaching methods, teaching materials and different tricks and ways on how to your enjoys and learns from you and you learn from them, too.
The most important aspect that I’ve learned so far in being an online teacher is that you have got to have MILES AND MILES of patience in your pocket. You need to remember that your culture and beliefs may not necessarily the same with theirs AND THAT it would take sometime and encouragement from you to teach your students how English to to be used and pronounced properly.
One example I had was with a student I have where she was having difficulty pronouncing the difference between “fly” and “fry”; how the word “visit” is not the same as “vidit“; how the word “say” is not that same as “day”. All of which would sound that same if you listen to them over the phone or at Skype.
It wasn’t because they don’t know how to, it was just because they were that that it was the way it was “supposed” to be pronounced according to their respective teachers and is the norm in their English method of teaching. Well, don’t get me wrong. These students I’ve taught so far are very good in answering English grammar and construction exams, that only problem I saw there was their pronunciation and communication skills.
So that was also one thing that I had to erase and correct from their memory. It was a real test of patience to really have the proper words stick to their minds. But patience really is a virtue.
So these are just a few of my experience in teaching online. If you have a similar experience like this that you’d want to share, please do so, I’d love to read about them.
Or if you want to hire me as an online teacher, please contact me