Online schooling is such a new concept, so it's often difficult to imagine how it all works. That's why we've teamed up with one of our English teachers, Alison Evans, to take you through a day in the life of an online teacher. Read on to see what she has to say!
When people ask me what I do, and I say I teach at an online school they often look a bit puzzled. ‘How does that work?’ they say, ‘Do you teach in your pyjamas?’ No, but I do usually have my slippers on. Sometimes people are a bit envious when I tell them that my commute to school involves walking across the landing to my study (usually ably assisted by my two dogs). Another frequent question is how do I talk to the students? Or how do I set homework? So here is an example of a typical day for me which will hopefully make things a bit clearer.
Getting set for the day
I usually get up about 8.30 unless I have a class at 8am which is unusual for me at the moment. I always check my phone and email first as sometimes the school ask you to cover a class for a teacher who is absent. I have a coffee and breakfast while I read my emails and respond to any that may need my attention. These could be from the office or from other teachers. The English Department has a WhatsApp group so we can work together and exchange information, which is helpful, so I have a look at that too. We can also get messages from parents and students directly so those need checking too.
Then I have a think about the classes that I have that day. I make sure that I have work planned for each one; this may involve writing a document or loading a PowerPoint into my online classroom. Sometimes I need to do a bit of research on a topic; for example with one of my Year 10 group we are looking at Macbeth and a student asked me a really interesting question about it last week so I find out more information that they may like. I take a debate group so I sometimes think about topics that might be suitable for them; items in the news are good for this. We have been thinking about the environment lately so there are lots of articles I can read and adapt.
When I am happy and I have everything I need, I sometimes take my dogs for a walk for about twenty minutes (unless it’s pouring down as they hate getting wet!)
Time for Class
When I get back it's usually time for my first class. The students log in and enter my classroom and we start the session. They can see the work I have loaded and me (so my hair mustn't be too mad) and we complete activities, or I talk through a PowerPoint and then they have tasks to complete. I make a note of who is present and absent so that I can mark the register when we are done. I also record the lesson as it can be posted onto the webpage that each class has so that anyone absent can listen later. The resources I have used are also loaded so that students can refer to them again and they could be used for revision.
Hopefully that session goes well, and I make a note to myself of what went well and maybe things that may need to be revisited.
Lunch break and Afternoon Lessons
At some point I try to have some lunch. Occasionally I go to a local café which my friend runs for a change of scenery. We chat about various things, and there are other people there that work from home so it’s like a little community.
I normally have a class at 2pm so then I go home and start the process again. I enjoy the way that no two days are the same and I get to speak to students all over the country and in some cases the world. The other day a student was describing to the group what a sandstorm is like as she is based in Dubai! I also teach different age groups so that’s fun too. I have a year 8/9 group which is great as they all are very enthusiastic about English and always get involved. Some pupils use their cameras and talk to you directly and you can also use a chat function so they can also type.
I may have a 3pm class too and after that it is time to mark registers, load the lessons onto my page and think about what classes I have the following day. There may also be homework to mark and emails and messages to check again.
I am really enjoying working for My Online Schooling! It’s fun and interactive and as a teacher I feel I can help students in a tailored way as groups are generally small. The other teachers are great and helpful, so it really feels like a team effort and it is lovely to see students progressing.
If you want to learn more about how My Online Schooling works and what we offer, download your copy of our school prospectus.