How to Master Behavior Management in the Online Classroom

Managing classroom behaviour teaching onlineChildren can often be fire balls of energy that are seemingly impossible to contain. They can also be the exact opposite. Managing behavior is quite possibly the most difficult task that a teacher faces. Add the element of only interacting with the child through a screen, with virtually zero back-up and support, and the idea of managing any type of behavior becomes pretty daunting. It’s true that managing behavior in the online classroom can be extremely challenging. Disruptive students are a challenge in any teaching and learning environment, but it becomes particularly evident in an online classroom, especially when teaching one-on-one.

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How to Combat Brattiness and/or Disinterest

Most educators would agree that the first step to behavior management is setting the guidelines and expectations from the beginning. In the case of online schools, it is typically safe to assume that the company has gone over a basic code of conduct with the parents beforehand, but, since the student is typically sitting alone with you and their computer, that code often means nothing.

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You are the one in charge of your classroom, so it’s also a good idea to let the students know what will and will not fly, to put it bluntly. This certainly does not need to be harsh or aggressive, and it should always be age-appropriate. For example, I start my lessons by introducing a reward system and giving the students examples of things that will earn them ‘a point’ and things that will cause them to lose a point. This is a quick and easily understandable way to make the expectations known from the outset.

Once the student has acknowledged that they understand what’s expected of them, you can proceed with your lesson. When a behavior issue does arise, it’s important to take the student’s age into account. For example, with preteens to adults, it’s appropriate to assume a tone of formality when dealing with an issue. By contrast, a foreigner changing their affect to this is likely to frighten a small child. With elementary-aged children and younger, try to maintain your cheery disposition, but make it known that something is not up to par. One can remind the student of the reward system and say things like, “Oh no! I want you to get five stars for this lesson, but you are not listening now!” while covering your ears and shaking your head. It’s important not to scare the student, but to show that you are to be respected and taken seriously, even though to them you are just a face on the screen.

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Communicating the expectations clearly and often is a great strategy to reinforce good behavior and class management. No matter the age of the student, it should go without saying that teachers cannot allow themselves to be overcome by frustration and lose their cool, dropping to the level of the student and arguing or showing a loss of composure. A loss of composure shows a loss of control, and that is the last thing that you want your students to think of you.

Another useful thing about working for an online company is that most will have a ‘help’ or support button that you can click if you truly can’t get control of a restless or poorly behaved child. In these cases, especially if a child is being particularly abusive, it’s important to contact the administrative authority immediately so that it can be documented. The support staff will typically contact the parents or speak to the student directly in their native tongue. This is incredibly useful, as telling a child, in a language that their parents cannot speak, that you will call his her mom or dad isn’t very effective. Thus, allowing someone to have your back and use the mother tongue, sparingly of course, is often the best option, even if it makes you feel bad that you couldn’t bring the class back on track on your own. Sometimes this is all that is needed to get the class back on track, so know your options and use your lifelines.

Related Articles On Teaching Online:

Teaching English Online to Children: Dealing with Parents

A Recruiter’s Guide to Getting an Online Teaching Job

 

A Recruiter’s Guide to Getting Your Dream Teaching Job

TESOL job recruitment advice on cover letter, resume, and interviewCongratulations! You got your TESOL certification and now you’re ready to apply for TESOL jobs. But what is the best way to organize your resume, cover letter and mock class preparation? As a job coach, recruiter and English teacher, I’ll tell you the best practices and examples you can follow to maximize your chances of getting an interview with an English teaching company and securing the job.

No matter what someone’s background is, the process of getting the TESOL job you want is the same:

  • Learn about the company, their mission and values
  • Tailor your resume and cover letter to the job requirements
  • Show your personality

This may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many applications I have seen that are generic and I can tell in a second that it is the same application they send to every other company. Do not make this mistake!

About the Author: Melissa Chungfat is a VIPKID teacher and recruiter. You can apply for online teaching jobs through Melissa through our VIPKID profile page

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How to Use Performance Based Activities and Projects with Young Learners

Teaching English to Young Learners Performance based activitiesMost traditional schools around the world base their curriculum largely on standardized forms of testing. In the ESL classroom, this culture encourages students to merely memorize sequences of words and synonyms for vocabulary- not to mention, it can get pretty boring and soul-crushing for the youngsters. Utilizing classroom performance activities is a great way to ‘test’ your students’ knowledge while igniting their creative flames. A performance-based classroom uses activities that require students to perform in front of their peers and teacher. While it may initially be daunting for some of the shy students, it has been shown in studies to build self-confidence. Plus, practicing and performing enhances students’ knowledge of the subject(s) and themes, developing their vocabulary and forcing them to really focus on pronunciation through repetition and rehearsal.

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Should I Teach English Online to Children in China? Pros and Cons

Teaching online to children in China pros and consI have been teaching English online to children in China for over a year now. While there have been many awesome benefits to this experience, there have also been a few bumps along the way. Some of these things were certainly to be expected and come naturally with any online or teaching experience in general. However, there are a few things that I wish I would have known about before signing my contract and undertaking this position, if not purely for my own contentedness. Teaching English online certainly has its positives, but, as with any job, the negatives, or shall I say, “challenges’, should be addressed.

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Testing ESL Students: Preparing Grammar and Vocabulary Tests

TEFL / TESOL testing grammar and covabulary tips for testing ESL studentsThis TESOL / TEFL article gives valuable advice for the different kinds of grammar and vocabulary tests that ESL teachers must administer to their students and provides practical tips on how to prepare students for the test in a Communicative Class.

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Testing Grammar

When evaluating students’ knowledge of grammar it is very important to determine whether each exercise is evaluating the mechanics part of the grammar or the meaning. In other words, it is important to determine whether the exercise is checking the students’ knowledge of the structure versus the knowledge of the function this structure fulfills in context.

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How to Teach Grammar to Advanced ESL Levels: The Importance of Grammar Review Lessons

Grammar review lessons are so important to help in the correction of fossilized errors and to clarify any misconceptions or confusions. At lower levels, students are often taught grammar topics in isolation without much of a sense of how the grammar is used in relation with other language points. One of the key lessons I learned as a new teacher was to take the grammar that students have previously learned and to teach them not only communicative but out of isolation.

One way to review grammar is to use sample sentences that the teacher hears them use regularly. This way the language is being taught in the most communicative way and the language begins to come alive to the students. They are also more likely to fix fossilized errors as they begin to notice the ones they commonly use as they are written down and analyzed.

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Teaching Verb Patterns and Vocabulary: Activities and Materials to Supplement the FCE Oxford Textbook

Verb Patterns and Vovabulary How to supplement the FCE Oxford Press TextbookIn this blog, our 120-hour TESOL certificate graduate explains how to use communicative activities and authentic materials to supplement Unit 2 of the FCE Oxford Textbook.

Verb Patterns

Verb Patterns are one of the more challenging grammar topics to teach to students as at this point in their learning, it’s just a matter of re-learning and memorization. One of the best ways to help students learn and remember Verb Patterns is to have students see them in context. I created a list of discussion questions to start this section off. Once they have finished the discussion, I have them underline the two verbs and note which verbs have -ing following them and which have the infinitive following them. I then move on to complete #1 and #2 from the textbook.

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6 Peer to Peer ESL Activities and Their Benefits

Peer to Peer ESL Activities Teaching EnglishThere is a great deal of evidence proving the effectiveness of peer to peer education. What does this mean exactly? Essentially it is the idea that the teacher facilitates the beginning of a lesson but encourages a great deal of peer-to-peer correction (with the guidance and supervision from the teacher), strategizing, communication and teamwork among students.

When I began teaching English, the one thing I struggled with the most was getting my students to engage with each other. I was so focused on learning the material from the textbook and how to effectively teach the grammar points that I didn’t realize how important bonding and relationship building was between myself and the students. Furthermore, I didn’t realize how it would not only take the stress off of my shoulders, but how it would yield even higher results than teacher-led instruction.

-Clare completed the 120-hour TESOL certificate course and she is currently teaching English in Toronto-

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How Licensed Public School Teachers Benefit From a TESOL Certificate

TESOL certificate for licensed teachers A TESOL certificate is highly recommended for licensed teachers from Canada and the United States who teach newcomers or are planning to teach abroad.

A teaching license or a degree in Education will put you ahead in some teaching programs abroad, especially in public school programs such as ADEC in the United Arab Emirates, NETs in Hong Kong, and EPIK in South Korea; however, a TESOL certificate is recommended for licensed teachers who want to teach English abroad and many employers often ask licensed teachers to upgrade their credentials to qualify for higher wages. This is because TESOL is a very specific subject and the methods used in the English classroom are not learned in a degree in Education. This article will explain more about the lesson planning formats, the teaching methods, and other topics licensed teachers would learn in a TESOL certificate course.

Read: How the OnTESOL Diploma is Opening Doors in the UAE

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EPIK: Passed The Interview? Now It’s Crunch Time!

EPIK Interview Application HelpCongratulations! You passed the interview with EPIK! Now, passing the interview does not mean that you got the job. Your documents have to get to South Korea before the application deadline before EPIK sends you the contract.  The deadline may be a few months ahead, but do not fall asleep! There are many applicants and jobs are filled on a first come, first serve basis.   You have to send all the required documents to your EPIK recruiter as soon as possible in order to avoid being placed on the waiting list. In general, positions get filled three weeks before the deadline and those on the waiting list may travel to South Korea a few months later than expected, if they get to travel at all.

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