The Best Ways for Teachers to Manage their Online Classes

The challenging times of the Coronavirus pandemic have prompted millions of schools worldwide to rethink the teaching-learning experience. Most schools went completely online to comply with the pandemic protocols. Since the beginning of 2020, teachers have sweated blood to ensure that the pandemic does not disrupt their school year. They are adjusting the curriculum to fit the online class system. Teachers are also making efforts to make students feel comfortable with the “new normal” mode of learning. Since students are attending classes from home, parents have become an integral part of their child’s education.

If you are an educator conducting online classes every day, these 7 key ideas for online classroom management can assist you in improving your online teaching technique.

1.   Embrace Technology for a Better Teaching-Learning Experience

Online learning is inconceivable without utilizing innovative web-based tools technology. However, each child has his/her own pace of learning. Even teachers need time to understand the technology and learn how to use it. Teachers must assist students in learning how to use technology and answer their queries about the same.

Firstly, invest in an online classroom management system like Google Classroom or Blackboard. These systems allow educators to connect with their students and send notes to the class, give an assignment, and schedule lessons. They will be notified whenever a student uploads assignments and turns in their work. Students can also have discussions with their teachers via this system.

Second, you can use Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams for organizing online classes. These apps are easy to install, offer opportunities for collaboration and screen-sharing for presenting study materials. Teachers can use free applications like YouTube and Vimeo as a platform to upload educational videos for their students to watch. It allows students to watch those videos on their own time.

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2.   Set Personal Boundaries for Online Teaching

In an online classroom setup, setting personal boundaries and having planned schedules are crucial. As a teacher, you need to communicate to students about the rules and regulations for the online class. Let them know your time availability for grooming sessions or extra private classes. Tell them the timeframe within which they can expect grades and feedback on their assignments. Do not set any unrealistic expectations because you also need some time out for yourself.

You also need to set personal boundaries for yourself. Do not work all night and turn off your computer at a specific time. You may use a different browser like Mozilla Firefox for organizing online classes to not get distracted by personal emails or notifications during the classes.

3.   Organize Classes with an Online Appointment Scheduling Software

Simplify the task of scheduling online classes. Try a free online appointment scheduling software like Picktime. Teachers can balance their personal and professional lives by syncing their external Google/Outlook/iCloud calendar with the Picktime online calendar. They can also set their real-time availability through the online calendar. Teachers may create numerous classes with varying time limits and add as many students as they like. This solution will allow students to book appointments 24/7 via an online booking page that you can create, customize, and make available on your school’s website. The classes can be held online using the Zoom and Google Meet integrations. Students will get a booking confirmation email with a link to the online class meeting. Both teachers and students will get automated email and SMS reminders from Picktime regarding their scheduled online classes.

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Whenever the classes are full, teachers can add students to the waitlist. If one student cancels their class appointment, someone waiting in line can take that student’s slot. Students can also securely pay their monthly fees online using credit cards and payment processors such as PayPal, Stripe, and Square. The invoice for fees payments will be automatically generated and emailed to the respective students.

4.   Work in Coordination with the Parents

The online teaching and learning paradigm has reduced physical interaction and created a shift in the dynamics of the teacher-student relationship. As students spend more time locked in their homes, parental engagement is becoming increasingly important in the success of online education. As a result, teachers must engage with parents to get suggestions on improving the online teaching-learning experience with a new setup and equipment.

Teachers can schedule a parent-teacher meeting fortnightly or monthly over Google Meet or Zoom. Parents must regularly monitor their kids closely and convey their expectations to the teachers. Teachers need to report about the student’s progress. The collaboration between teachers and parents will make online class management easier for kids to navigate through the school year.

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5.   Connect Individually with Students

Physical classroom settings are advantageous for teachers because they can engage in one-to-one interaction with each student. They can glance at a last bencher’s activities even from a distance, unlike in an online environment. However, online teaching can still incorporate opportunities to engage with students individually.

Teachers can hold virtual meetings with students to listen to their concerns. Additionally, teachers can provide private sessions with students to address mental and physical health issues. Hear out the concerns of your students and their problems in the online learning method. Share your concerns as well. Meeting one-on-one with pupils will help teachers assess how well their students are doing.

6.   Draw Engagement with Attractive Content

When it comes to preparing study materials, online classrooms have a lot of advantages. Teachers may automate content and have it ready way ahead of time. Using the digital channels or medium, they can prepare video content, audio-visual presentations, quizzes, and other fun assignments. Teachers can prepare engaging presentations and informative videos with online tools like Canva, Powtoon, and Prezi.

Automated content will drive engagement and keep your students attentive and responsive in the class. End every class with an interesting assignment for students. You can also organize quiz competitions, debates, and role-playing once in a while.

7.   Motivate Students with Small Group Sessions

In an online classroom setting, students starve for communication with friends. Whole class meetings have a minimum of 30 people. If students start talking randomly, it just leads to chaos. Teachers can take some time out to schedule small group sessions with students. Make small groups of 5-6 students and give each group a slot of 15-20 minutes with a 5-minute break between each session.

Make students write down their online learning goals, or plan on a group activity such as singing or recitation to increase engagement. Rather than an academic discussion, organize some competitions where students can get involved in art and craft. Add a human touch to your group sessions to keep your students motivated. You can reward them for their progress or exemplary work.

As a teacher, if you are wondering how to start managing your online classroom, begin by strategizing a solid plan. Follow all these ideas to give your students a positive learning experience. Most importantly, be more flexible about the deadlines of different assignments. The pandemic is taking a toll on everybody’s physical and mental health, so do not pressurize children to submit assignments within a short time. Be a bit lenient with grades, and if not, then at least offer help to your students. Make sure that you redirect your students’ attention away from the negativity that surrounds them. Assist them in learning and developing both academic and human abilities.