Online education is becoming more popular with parents opting to home school their children and adults looking to earn their degrees over the internet. While it may seem out of the norm for you to take an online teaching job after you’ve put in so many physical class time hours during your training but there are a number of benefits as well as opportunities available through online teaching.
Work at Your Convenience
With online teaching you can access your classroom materials and the online classroom 24 hours a day. This means that you can work a regular hour job and still maintain your teaching duties at your convenience instead of worrying about punching a time clock.
You can also have access to your school’s electronic library. This is great if looking to do research for your classes during off hours. If you’re continuing your own education while working you can also use this resource for your own studies.
Reach More Students
As an online teacher you’ll be able to provide instruction to students across multiple time zones all from one location. With a wider outreach you’re also more likely to fill a specialised class that would not normally reach its minimum enrolment.
The online classroom also gives you an opportunity to have more private contact with a student if you see or suspect that they’re not grasping the material. This can allow you to get a student back on track instead of waiting to see a midterm grade to see if they understand everything.
Keep Better Records
As an online teacher you can keep better records of all of your assignments and other documents. You can save chat sessions and timelines in order to see when certain things were discussed and when assignments were handed out and with what due date. This takes away some of the hassles that teachers deal with in physical classrooms.
Grading rubrics, the syllabus, and other pre-developed documents can also be posted in the online classroom for immediate student and teacher access. This will simplify things for both parties and will eliminate confusion.
In the same regard all faculty meetings that are held online will have their own records that you can access once the meeting is over. This will allow you to keep up with any changes and see what’s going on within your online organisation.
Enjoy an Online Community
Things like online faculty lounges allow you to keep in touch with other instructors across the globe. This can help you vent, ask for advice, help others, and expand your lesson plans by seeing what other teachers are doing in your field.
Since you can also talk to instructors from your specific institute you can also share problems with set curriculums, or administrative issues and try to come up with a collective solution that you can bring to your superiors to help better the institution.
Other Benefits Offered
Since you are considered an employee of the given institution you may be eligible for certain benefits including a pension, stock purchase options, tax breaks, and possible employee purchase programs that can save you money on things like computers and other work-related items.
Some online teachers may also be able to take advantage of continuing education programs that can allow you to enhance your teaching skills. These can be free online seminars or training manuals that you can browse or take at your leisure.
You may even be offered a tuition break on your own degree if you’d like to pursue a higher level of education. For example, if you’re looking to continue on and get a Master’s degree you can choose to take classes through the institution you teach with and pay less in tuition than you would somewhere else due to your role as an online teacher.
But There Are Drawbacks…
Teaching online and freelancing can and does have many lifestyle benefits. But you might not get paid as much. An article on Randstad looks at what you could expect to be paid if freelancing in the engineering space and it raises a pertinent issue. For example, you could be teaching a course online for a school in a large (and expensive) city where salaries are high. However, as you are working remotely, probably from somewhere cheaper, you will most likely not be paid as much as those commuting to their work.
Furthermore, if you are working remotely for a foreign company, then you have to seriously take into consideration foreign exchange rates. For example, if you are based in the UK and paid in US Dollars from your American client, then you are exposed to swings in the foreign exchange market. Even relatively small movements can have a positive or negative effect on the amount of money that you are actually paid.