Man, I am late on posting this. It might be because I have also been trying to figure out how to start teaching virtually. Everyone knows that the pandemic has caused a lot of teachers to switch to teaching virtually and that has caused a lot of chaos. I began teaching virtually near the beginning of this year. I am still teaching virtually now. It has been a huge transition, but after many months of practicing at it, teaching virtually has been pretty easy.
I’ve been writing a lot of blog posts about how to start teaching, but I’ve never written about how to teach virtually. It’s a new territory for me. I started teaching online through using FaceTime calls, zoom conference calls, and Facebook messenger video chat. I’ve found that FaceTime is the most reliable form of video chatting. If the student doesn’t have an iPhone, they will have to utilize other forms of video chatting. Zoom was pretty easy to set up. Facebook messenger is not as reliable for video chatting as zoom is.
For zoom, you have to set up a conference room and you have to send the invite link to your student. It could be difficult to set up if you are not tech savvy. Please make sure to set up these things before the start of your lesson. I like to set up my conference calls an hour before the start of my lesson.
I also began keeping digital copies of my books. Originally, I was buying new hard copies of my books. I decided that it would be much easier to keep a digital copy to send to my students. I didn’t have to repurchase books all of the time now. It makes it a lot easier to start my lessons too. I open up my books on my computer, pull open my lesson notes, and I open my video chat.
I’ve learned to use google calendar to manage my lessons and I also use the notes app on my phone to keep lesson notes. Lesson notes are very important. If you’re not keeping track of what you’re working on for your students, you won’t remember next week. If you have many students every week, using lesson notes will help. If you only have one or two students, you might not need to. I’ve found that with the notes app, you can invite other students to look at it too. It’s very helpful for me and I heavily rely on my lesson notes.
I don’t know if teachers will begin transitioning to teaching virtually for good. I’ve noticed that it reduces my commute time and it’s been easier for me. If you have a student that is hesitant to transition to virtual lessons, give them a couple of trial lessons for free. Let them acclimate to virtual lessons. I think they’ll like it too once they get used to it!