Not only should the individual be motivated and have the flexibility to want to become a virtual teacher, they also need some other very specific requirements. Depending on the virtual school you are going to work for they may require you hold a certain number of office hours or have a specific time slot when students can call you. For instance one school may require that you be available everyday from 5 to 7 pm. Another requirement which may come up is how many times you log on or check your email. Being an online teacher almost means that you are on call 24 hours a day. You may be getting numerous emails a day regarding school and faculty issues alone which you will need to check let alone the other one hundred emails from students.
The bottom line is you must have the flexibility to be able to check your email at different time periods during the day. Personally, as both an online student and an online teach/tutor I am logged in practically all day and check my email anywhere from 8-10 times a day for each account. This allows me to sort through emails, leave time for responses, and allow myself not to be overwhelmed with hundreds of emails coming in. Remember email and telephone will be your only source of communication.
Which leads to me to technology. Again, depending on the school, you may need a fax machine, a headset, or online certification in their tutoring/teaching program. Many sites offer to test your computer directly online to see if your computer is compatible with their requirements. eSylvan checks for various technological requirements and like others if you are offered a job, you get paid training!
Training online will consist of training in the school or tutoring institutions preferred platform, such as Blackboard. While platforms are not difficult to maneuver around in once you get the hang of it and the training will lessen the levels of confusion.
So while the online teaching world leaves much room for flexibility, you must also be flexible in your own home in regards to when you need to have office hours and when you need to check your email. While this sounds less grueling than 8-10 hours at a brick and mortar school, it may actually end up being more work if not well prepared more time-consuming as well. It all comes down to the motivation of the individual!
Where do you Find Jobs?
So where do you find these fabled online teaching positions? Here are three I’ve had good experiences with:
Connections Academy is actually public school that offers an online option. Students in grades K-12 learn from their home with the help of their parents, or learning coaches as they are called, and the teachers. Teachers use a customized plan for each student, which is tailored to his or her needs. The teacher works with the learning coach to help create an individual learning plan, help with instruction of subjects, and student assessment. All contact is done through telephone, email, or regular mail.
All teachers working with Connections Academy must be certified in the state they will work in and while this is virtual teaching, they must work from the central office they are working with. Currently states who hire include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. More teaching jobs can be found here.
Kaplan Virtual Education
While Kaplan is best known for its online and distance learning college programs, it is also known for the online high school. Programs are set up to meet the learners needs, such as adult learners without a high school diploma, advanced learners looking to graduate early, at risk teens, teen parents, and even students wishing to take on college prep classes. Kaplan offers online public schooling as well as private schooling for students.
Teaching jobs for Kaplan can be found here. Offering part-time, and full-time opportunities, most jobs are from the comfort of your home or if stated otherwise they are from the central office. As with other Connections Academy teachers, you must be certified in the state intended to teach in.
eSylvan Learning hires online teachers and tutors who have current teacher certification or lapsed certification (not revoked). Teachers work from the comfort of their own home. Work hours offered are flexible with a minimum amount of work hours being 8 and maximum of 29 hours per work. Training is provided and paid for 6 hours of online training through their system. As an eSylvan teacher you use their technology and their lessons. Jobs can be found here.
There are plenty of opportunities for getting into the online teaching world. These are only a few of the opportunities available.