Setting up for Online Teaching
Background, Lighting & Noise for your new online Classroom
Before we jump in to how we teach online, let's start with where we will teach. Just because you're teaching online doesn't mean you can't have your own classroom.
One of the first things you should do is set up a little space where you can teach from. This consists of three main things - your background, lighting and noise levels.
What kind of background should we have?
Set up your classroom with a wall directly behind you, where you can place posters of animals colours numbers or anything related to English. When setting up your background, keep the age of your students in mind. If you are teaching adults, obviously you would not have the same background as if you were teaching younger children.
Here is a list of some posters you can put on the wall:
Some teachers also like to place a globe or map of the world on the background this way they can point out where they are from and where their students are from. Take 5 to 10 minutes to jot down what things you can stick on your classroom wall.
Okay! Now, let’s see some examples of backgrounds from some of our teachers. Feel free to get inspired and copy any layouts that you like!
Which background did you like the best?
Did you see the ...
Cut-out of the teacher’s name
Map of the world
It may also be a good idea to go online and find a logo of the company that you teach for - print it out, colour it in (or make it look pretty on Canva, Photoshop or any other online programme) and stick it on the wall. This definitely impresses recruiters when you’re doing a demo lesson!
You may also have noticed lots of props in the background, but we’ll go further into detail on that in a later blog post.
Next, we need to figure out optimal lighting 💡
You should set up your classroom close to (but not directly in front of) a window. This means you’ll be clearly visible to your student in natural light and there’ll be no dark shadows or poorly lit spots.
If you teach at night time (or early in the morning) when it’s dark outside, make sure your room is well lit and that you can be seen at all times. Test your lighting by creating a video on your webcam and watching it back or Skyping with a friend and asking their opinion.
Finally let's make our classrooms free from background noise 🔉🔉
Where should you set up your laptop to avoid background noise during your lessons?
You need to set up your classroom in a quiet space away from any of the following:
Loud traffic noises
Loud housemates or family members
Background rock music
Construction workers or other loud annoyances
If you live on a busy city street where there is lots of traffic, try soundproofing your windows. There are loads of videos on YouTube explaining how to do this!
Let your roommates, family, and friends know beforehand when you will be teaching so they know when to keep the noise down. You can even send them a copy of your weekly schedule.
If you’re teaching while travelling, do your research and search online for some coworking spaces that have soundproof Skype booths. You don’t want to be overheard while teaching your English lesson! You can also check out our blog post for further advice about teaching while on the move.
If you're new to the world of online teaching, and you would like to gain some hands-on experience, you can book a demo lesson call with us. One of our team would be more than happy to help you set up your online classroom, and prepare for your demo lesson. Learn more about it here.
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