Every online English teacher needs a designated classroom in their home. Last month, we shared some important reasons why you should set up a classroom. So, now we would like to offer you some tips for what should be in your online classroom. Engaging with your students during your lessons is an essential aspect of being a good TEFL teacher. The best way to engage with your students? Designing an appropriate background for your students’ age and using the right props is the best way to teach in an exciting environment that encourages student output. Besides posters and props, tech equipment is vital for a stress-free experience for both you and your student.
Designing a Suitable Background
A quiet area in your house allocated for your online classroom ensures a stress-free space without external distractions. Make sure that you have a wall behind you to design an interactive background for an engaging lesson. When planning your background, use appropriate posters for your students’ age that correlates with the curriculum. Posters with images add colour to your classroom and visual stimulus for your students. Depending on the curriculum, have a world map, an alphabet and grammar posters. There are many free online posters to choose from, or you can buy them from a local stationery store. If you are creative and enjoy drawing, you can personalise your posters for the specific lessons you teach. You can also include other elements like your name, reward systems, and colourful art.
Choosing the Right Props
Now that you have your background set up, choosing the right props for your lessons is a great way to go above and beyond for each class. Sometimes, a new student can be a bit shy and not wanting to speak during the lesson; introducing your right-hand teddy bear with a cute name to speak directly to the student is an excellent way to encourage your student to speak. Take a look at your curriculum, and buy a few props that will motivate engagement during modelling new vocabulary. For instance, if you are teaching farm animals, use plastic toys of the animals. Visual props help students connect an image with the new word, which encourages student output. For a more budget-friendly (and eco-friendly) method, activate your creative spirit and get drawing. If you are not the best at drawing, cut out print-outs and paste them to a skewer stick for little hand puppets.
Investing in the Right Tech Equipment
The tech you use is as important as a classroom background and props for online teaching. The first thing you should make sure you have is a stable, reliable WiFi connection. A good microphone and headset are necessary for the lesson to run smoothly without any interruptions of “Sorry, I did not hear, please will you repeat”. Make sure that you have suitable warm light from a lamp or a ring light so that students can see you clearly and in a good light, literally.
Planning a classroom is crucial for both you and your student to have an excellent teaching experience. An interactive background makes the classroom fun and exciting for young learners, and props help you engage with your student to encourage modelling new words and student output. The most important part: have fun while designing your classroom! This space is where you get to get creative and express your enthusiasm to teach.