• It’s as important to keep to a routine online as offline
• Get up and get dressed as if you are going out to work and keep to your lesson timetable as far as possible
• Start with general housekeeping stuff – ask your students how they are, give them key information about any changes, messages for parents, check they’ve done homework, ask if they have questions and do general group feedback on the previous lesson’s written work
• Establish procedure – in Zoom meeting settings click on ‘waiting room’ so that you can let the students in all at the same time or even speak to individuals before you speak to the whole class, asking students to mute themselves until you invite them to speak
• Make sure your materials are clear, in big enough fonts so everyone can read them and you have the right balance between too much and too little information
• Make your teaching as interactive as possible: use videos, audio files, screen sharing, quick polls, the ‘breakout rooms’ feature on Zoom to vary the pace of your online lessons and involve the students as much as possible.
• Add pace to the lesson by speeding up or slowing down the activities
• Take regular breaks (schedule in virtual coffee breaks with colleagues!) and consider if it’s more appropriate to do shorter lessons with more frequent breaks since working online requires different levels of concentration both for teacher and students. Distractions in the background make focus more challenging.
• Stay in contact with the students by email so you can collect written work. Get them to appoint a class representative to whom you can email the lesson invitations and deal with questions and updates
Source: TESOL International