Online Teaching Tips – Shake off that penalty for missing a class!

Teaching English Online Using Flash cards

When working with any online teaching company, nothing is worse than logging into a classroom late, or being charged a penalty for missing a class! It’s a worry each time, especially when the penalties can cost you as much as an hourly wage along with a warning letter.

The best way to deal with getting penalties is to prevent them together. If the fault is due to the online teaching system, take lots of screenshots as evidence and hope for the penalties to be reversed.

Do online teachers have to be professional while working at home?

You probably wouldn’t commute to work wearing Pyjamas, so you probably should wear pyjamas when working from home. Try to be as professional as you can, even if you enter the class before the student does. Sleeping, eating, plus more, are considered bad behaviour.

Teachers are regularly monitored, so don’t get caught out. It’s easy to forget that online lessons are recorded and reviewed for quality purposes. If you enter the classroom early and are worried about being recorded and observed before you teach; invest in a sticker to go over the webcam so no one can see you.

Do I need a second computer for teaching english online?

Having a second computer may not be possible for everyone, but if you do have a second computer, installing the English learning platforms on both machines is a good idea in case one computer breaks down or runs out of battery. Always have a backup plan.

Most online teaching platforms also have websites, which you can use should you have any issues with the App. I suggest asking IT support if you could have the website address. Once you find out about the website, bookmark it. You may need to use it in an emergency and it will save you time and money.

A second headset is also a great idea. From experience, headsets can stop working very suddenly. Luckily, this headset below has lasted me for just over two years!

How can I prevent joining my online English classes late?

Join early! It’s very easy to oversleep, run out of time, or run into technical issues. These things happen. Try to set your alarm with enough time to shower, grab a latte, splash cold water on your face and get dressed. Falling asleep while trying to teach a lesson isn’t a good look.

There is nothing worse than only having two minutes until the first class starts, and then finding out you have tech issues. If this happens take screenshots and present them when you get issued a penalty or even before. If you are lucky, they may let you off with the benefit of the doubt.

Occasionally, the internet can go down. Should this happen to you, try and set up a hotspot from your mobile. Do your best to e-mail or call the teaching company/schedulers to let them know the situation.

It’s always best to give as much advanced notice as possible to the teaching company, the more notice you give, the less cost you will endure. If you do nothing, and a missed class gets entered into the system, it’s harder to remove.

Do I have time for a latte between online english lessons?

With only a few minutes between each class, you may need a programable coffee machine so the coffee gets brewed just in time. There is no reason why you cannot make your own barista-style latte.

Why is coffee good when teaching online?

Coffee is excellent to have when teaching online. It helps me feel more energised for all those TPR dance moves and the caffeine helps keep you awake and smiley! 😊

How lenient are the online teaching companies when it comes to missed classes?

Most teaching companies understand that problems can occur. They are more likely to remove the penalty if it’s an isolated incident. If the same thing happens a few times, your pockets will start to feel a lot lighter.

Penalties are generally enforced automatically… However, don’t just accept the penalty. Communicate with the IT Support and do your best to try to have the penalty removed because apart from the cost, they don’t look good on your record. The last thing you want is future bookings from students, to become affected.

Follow the guidelines when requesting leave

Most of the teaching platforms are very flexible on requesting leave. On most platforms, you have to give more than 24 hours notice. If you give less notice you may be liable to pay a small fee.

The holiday allowance you get on most teaching platforms is unpaid… However, this does not stop the emails from reaching your inbox stating that you’ve taken too much time off.

Should I stop cancelling lessons last minute?

If you have regular students that rely on you teaching them English online, and you keep cancelling last minute. Rightfully, that student will probably complain and find a new teacher.

The online teaching platform may reduce the lessons in your schedule because you are not very reliable. It can take months, before getting a full schedule again, I know from experience! So, be mindful every time you cancel a lesson last minute.

Most Online teaching platforms understand you may need to cancel last minute lessons due to personal or technical problems/emergencies.

If you know you’re heading towards an ‘assent Teacher’ status, resulting in a penalty; contact the lesson schedulers beforehand. If you can’t seem to get through to anyone take screenshots of the problem as evidence, and cross your fingers that you won’t get a penalty.

iTutor provides excellent support should anything be stopping you from joining a class.