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Teaching online for the first time is like entering a whole new universe. You are excited to discover the endless possibilities, but at the same time, you don’t know where to start. That’s how I felt when Covid-19 hit, and I had to convert my entire roster to online lessons. Like many other instructors, I did not have much experience with online teaching. I was worried that I could not deliver the same lesson quality through a computer screen. But I was lucky to have students that were patient enough to help me make that transition.
No matter your instrument(s), teaching online can be challenging at first. I came up with these tips that made all the difference in bringing my lesson experience from good to great.
1 – Make it interactive
How interactive can online lessons get? A lot more than you might think! With all the technological tools at our disposal today, there are countless ways to update your teaching style. By being interactive, you allow your students to engage in the lesson on a deeper level. You get to learn more about them, and what they like. This way, you can adjust your approach depending on their needs. No one likes a one-way conversation, no matter how interesting you might be!
2 – Use visual examples
Did you know that more than 60% of the population are visual learners? Reach out to most of your students by using visual content like images, videos, and even games. It will make your lessons more memorable. It will be easier for them to understand the learning material. You can also write down notes on your visual content. This way, your student can look those over outside their lesson time.
3 – An efficient note system
I had a teacher in college that never remembered my name or the music I learned. It was very frustrating to have to deal with this inconsistency. It tempered with my lesson appreciation. Having an efficient note system allows you to keep track of your students progress, goals, and even their names! This way, you can avoid those awkward moments I had to experience in college with your students.
4 – Listen to your students
Teaching is about far more than educating people. You are a mentor, an adviser, and a guide to your students. Keeping an open mind to create long-lasting trust relationships is what it is all about. Ask your students what are their goals, dreams, and even what they like to do outside their lessons. Use examples and metaphors that talk to them to explain the lesson material.
5 – Think ahead of time
Being late for a lesson because of technical issues is like having your flight delayed. Even though people act like no one is at fault, no one likes it. By troubleshooting all your gear ahead of time, you can avoid unwanted delays. Make sure that your internet connection is working. Make a video and audio test on your video conferencing app. Make sure that you have all your material for the lesson ready to open. If you don’t like waiting for other people, be on top of your game and be punctual.
6 – Offer A Unique Experience
Finally, if you want your teaching to be memorable, you have to create something notable. You want your students to look forward to their lesson every week. Let them know who you are, talk about your unique personal experience and how you learned from them. Your students will talk about how great you are with their friends and family. If you want to create an experience that people will not forget, you have to be bold, creative, and, most of all, be yourself.
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