If you have ever felt like helping others reach their professional and personal goals, being a teacher might be a good choice for you. And while there is still a need for traditional teachers to be present in a physical classroom, the future of education is starting to drift to the online world. It could be time for you to decide if getting your online teaching certification is right.
What Is Online Teaching
The way people get their education has changed over the past couple of decades. As the internet has grown, we have grown with it. More small businesses open virtually, rather than traditional brick-and-mortar ones. And the way that we educate our young people has evolved as well.
An online teacher educates their students in a virtual environment. They lecture students, conduct testing, and judge assignments without the need for a classroom. It is all conducted online through school websites and conferencing software like Skype or Zoom.
Online teaching can be attractive because the schedule is flexible without exact class times. Your lectures can be pre-recorded, and you can set up online meeting times for students that need some one-on-one interaction.
The Demand for Online Teachers
People have been opting for online classes in college for a long time. Students can take classes on their schedule. Not sitting through actual lectures has always been a perk they seek out. And for older students that are going back to school while still working full-time jobs, distance learning can be a much-needed resource.
Until recently, traditional teachers usually had to handle the load of their physical and online classes. The events of recent years have made distance learning much more necessary, and taking classes online has become the norm for most people. Now that we are headed back toward a normal life, many students have found that they prefer to learn online. High schools are integrating distance learning more than they were before. And more college students than ever are opting for online classes. That means that more teachers are needed, and many of those teachers will fill roles in a completely virtual environment.
What Are the Requirements To Be a Virtual Teacher
The only qualification that is a must to be a teacher in a virtual classroom is a college education. Most teaching positions for elementary through high school require a bachelor’s degree in education or in the field they are teaching. For instance, if you teach a science class like biology, you will need a bachelor’s degree in education or science. In addition to that, you will need to complete an online teaching certification program which will usually mean some extra coursework and a test.
While the demand for teachers is high, there are additional things that many schools will be looking for.
- A background in teaching
This is usually for people that don’t have a degree in education. Getting that degree will give you ample time to work with students before getting a job as a teacher. Not all virtual teachers have that as part of their education so employers will want to see your ability to work with children or teenagers.
- Proficiency with computers and online technology
If you’re going to be teaching an online course, your employer will want to know that you can maneuver the technical side of things. Virtual teaching involves a combination of different computer software, including catalogs, video conferencing, and email. Your students will have trouble with the websites at first. Hopefully, you’ll be able it fix it for them.
- Experience with online course management platforms
This builds off the last one. Software like Blackboard is specifically made for distance learning. If you teach a college course, your students probably have experience with it from high school. You will need to be familiar with it as well.
How Much Can You Make as an Online Teacher
The amount of money that you can earn as an online teacher depends on your level of education combined with your experience. English teaching positions typically pay $20 per hour at first. If you speak a second language and can teach English to foreign language students, you have the potential to make a lot more.
With higher education comes a better opportunity to make money. If you have a master’s degree and can teach at the university level, you have the potential to make a good living. And if you teach online, you do not have to factor transportation into your budget, meaning more money.
Who Hires Online Teachers
There are many opportunities available for virtual teaching positions. Some of them are traditional forms of education trying to build a place in a new landscape. Others are new ways that learning is becoming available thanks to the developments in distance learning technology.
With the changes seen in the education system over the past three years, many elementary and high schools are looking for educators to help decrease class sizes.
Since virtual learning has become normalized, some colleges are opening that does not exist in the physical world. 100% distance learning colleges are popping up all the time. They all need teachers to head up those new classes.
If you are already a teacher or have been one in the past and need to make an extra income, online tutoring could work for you. You can focus on a specific subject, teach a group of people, or provide one-on-one lessons to students that need them.
There will always be a need for teachers. With the changes that the world has gone through in recent years, the way that we use them is changing. What used to be a job done in one way is now being performed in multiple ways. With that changing structure, a need is arising for even more qualified people to take those leadership roles and guide the students of today into becoming the workforce of tomorrow.