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VLN Primary Teachers Share their Tips for Teaching Online

Last week we had a PLD day with our Asian Language teacher group. This was a time to come together as a team and share our experiences, explore new strategies and resources and prepare for the year ahead. Ideas are bounced around, examples of what works well, & challenges are shared and preparation is made for the year ahead.  

We had a mixture of old hands and beginners. Here was some of the advice from our experienced eteachers to our new eteachers. A lot of this may seem like common sense, whether teaching online or face to face. Have you taught online, what would you add to these?

  • This is a very special opportunity to work with children from all around NZ.
  • Get to know your children - what is special in the area they come from, what do they like, what is happening at their school.
  • Plan learning activities within context that interests them.
  • Have a range of different activities to account for different abilities and age levels.
  • Make follow up (out of class) work very do-able - short, interactive, a video, a quizz, a game. 
  • Have it ready for them straight from their lesson. Show them in class, before they go.
  • Have a Plan A and Plan B.
  • Enjoy it and have fun.
  • Set our children up for success - lots of encouragement, accept all their contributions .
  • Some children are still learning how to learn with others online, some may be more hesitant to start with until they gain confidence.
  • Communication with the students home school is really important - learning is a partnership between the teacher, the student and the student's school support person.
  • Online teaching is different than teaching face to face, you will need to teach differently.
  • When connecting to schools in other countries, be prepared that they will not be as flexible as we are - they often have to ask for permission even right up to district level and stick to their set 'allowed' times.
  • You need to have a shared agenda that is reciprocal, so that you are not just providing them with English practice only (or vice versa) - consider a project based approach.

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