Every online teacher has a particular superpower. What’s yours?
Online teaching already involves several non-negotiable core skills.
At the very least, you’ll need to be:
• Qualified and experienced
• A good communicator (and natural mentor)
• Technologically-savvy, and
• An expert in your field.
A genuine passion for online teaching, and a healthy dose of patience also help.
That’s not a bad skill set!
But there’s one more thing you use to teach online: your personality.
This is your X factor.
Your personal characteristics give you a unique communication advantage.
When you show your personality, you’re transformed from a faceless online teacher, to a flesh-and-blood educator who inspires and supports your students to achieve.
When you teach online, your personality is the source of your e-learning superpower.
Using the power of your personality in your online teaching can help achieve two worthwhile results.
1. Help create better outcomes for your students, and
2. Allow your work to be a natural expression of who you really are.
And you don’t even need to wear your underpants on the outside.
So What’s Your Online Teaching Superpower?
Off the top of your head, what are your 3 strongest personality traits?
What are you known for? What are you best at?
Once you’ve identified those traits, you simply need to strategically apply them to your online teaching practice.
Here are some examples of how you can recognize and amplify particular personal qualities to add real value to the e-learning process.
• Are You Funny?
The strategic use of humor with online students can massively enhance their engagement with you, and help them to experience your online teaching style as a human- rather than machine-based experience.
Depending on your student demographic, you can use humor strategically to break the ice, help panicking students regain some perspective, or just make your learners feel heard and understood.
Your students are more likely to enjoy learning from a real human being.
And happier students can lead to greater course completions.
• Are You Well-Organized?
If you’re a time-management maestro, you’re more available and more responsive.
Your students are never left to their own devices while you’re lost for days under an avalanche of ungraded papers.
Time-management is an invaluable skill in online teaching.
It creates a quiet authority, and sense of control that inspires confidence and respect from your students.
And on a personal level, this superpower means you’re less stressed and overwhelmed than many of your peers.
Your level of organization means you never need to spend the weekend answering student emails.
In the world of online teaching, that’s nothing short of a miracle.
• Do You LOVE Your Subject?
If you love what you teach, you transmit that passion directly to your students.
Believe me, they can spot the difference between an engaged and positive online teacher, and someone who’s simply going through the motions.
And when you’re deeply engaged with your subject, chances are you know a lot about it. This combination of expertise and enthusiasm will flow through your course and your communications like electricity.
That means your students won’t be bored – and neither will you.
• Are You Compassionate?
If empathy is your online teaching superpower, then your students will find you unusually approachable. This is a win-win situation for two reasons.
Firstly, it means that you have the patience to help students over the course finish line.
Your students will feel comfortable asking for the extension which could mean the difference between a passing and failing grade.
And secondly, your students are highly likely to confide in you.
When you understand their personal challenges, you can either offer targeted advice, or refer them to the support services that can help them succeed.
Take a moment to identify the skills you draw on most when you teach online.
How do they make you unique as an online teacher?
How can you use your Online Teaching Superpowers for good – to benefit your students, and to make online teaching more rewarding for you?