How to Become an eLearning Teacher for Young Children
Teaching can be a very rewarding career, and with the advantages of modern technology, it can also be extraordinarily convenient. As technology becomes more heavily integrated into the education industry, the practice of learning through a screen will only become more common, leading to a demand for great teachers in the digital space. Here are a few things you should know before embarking on a new career path in education.
Stock up on equipment
Just like an ordinary classroom, the average home office will need a few extra supplies before it’s ready to support your teaching endeavors. The basics include things like an efficient computer with a webcam, a desk and chair, and any other educational materials you would like to refer to in your lessons. It’s also worth investing in decorative elements like useful, colorful posters to brighten up your surroundings and make your sessions visually interesting for your young students.
A bachelor’s degree is often a requirement for aspiring teachers, but that’s not always the case when your ambition is to work with young children. Educators of pre-school-aged children can get a leg-up into the industry with a diploma  that covers all the basics of creating a safe, nurturing environment for children. From there, your quest for employment in an early learning center or preschool will be that little bit smoother, but keep in mind that a role with a heavier focus on teaching may require a higher qualification and further education.
Develop your course content
You probably have a fair amount of knowledge on the subject you plan to teach, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with content for your course, but optimizing it for your intended audience, especially an audience of young children, is another thing entirely. You’ll need to tailor it as much as possible to their interests, whilst also highlighting all the gold nuggets of information that will come in handy down the track. To minimize mental fatigue, especially amongst young children, try preparing shorter sessions with more condensed content, and avoid filling your lessons with an overload of text. Also, remember to alternate text-heavy slides with images or diagrams to mix it up and hold your students’ attention for longer.
Stay in touch
When you can’t be present with your students in a physical sense, the importance of communication cannot be understated. You should ensure that each of the families you work with is aware of all the possible avenues of contact available to them so that they can always reach you when they have a concern or a burning question. Of course, it’s also acceptable to set your own boundaries in terms of contact times and methods, as long as you make those boundaries known and establish a great reputation for responding promptly and effectively to questions and concerns.
Create a safe space
Developing an environment for your students to feel safe to express their ideas and opinions can be challenging, especially when you don’t face to face with them, but this is where communication comes to the fore. If you’re going to truly engage with each of your young pupils, you need them to feel comfortable, so consider orchestrating an e-meeting to establish connections with both students and parents in the early stages of the course. Meeting the other students should go some way to make each student more comfortable in the classroom environment, no matter how unconventional it may seem.
Compared to a bricks-and-mortar classroom, the challenge of establishing a sense of control in a virtual environment can seem intense, but that only makes it all the more important. As a teacher, it will be your responsibility to set a standard for communication, participation, and conduct, so don’t let your students or their parents have to guess where they stand. It’s also important to acknowledge that this kind of communication goes two ways and that you have certain responsibilities to the students in your classes, so be sure to let them know what they can expect from you as their teacher.
Be open to feedback
There’s no doubt about it – critical feedback on your work can be difficult to stomach. Even if you don’t enjoy the experience of receiving it, such feedback is the fastest route to improvement, so don’t let your ego get in the way of your own growth as an educator. Ask every stakeholder you can think of to offload their ideas for improvements – your employer, your fellow educators, the parents of the children in your classes, and even the pupils themselves. Before you know it, you’ll be growing and developing in ways you may not have ever thought possible through theoretical education alone.
Becoming a teacher in an electronic capacity can still be just as rewarding as teaching at the head of a physical classroom, but like any career, you’ll get out what you put into it. As long as you’re passionate about and committed to providing a great start to life for the next generation, the rest can be learned.