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8 Strategies To Observe And Support Online English Language Teachers

With online learning coming into the picture, most administrators felt that if they couldn't go into the classroom, interact with students, or observe other teachers, they would not know how good the quality of learning was. Furthermore, they would also not be able to know how satisfied the students were or if the teachers required any support from the management’s ends. Regardless of it being a concern, collecting data on online teachers is indeed far easier than physical classrooms. Read on to learn how.

Tips To Observe And Support English Language Teachers Online

Here are 8 ways to be there for your teachers and support them during online sessions:

  1. Drop-In For Virtual Sessions

    Online teaching does not have to be any different than physical classrooms. All you can do is just ask for access to your teacher's sessions and drop in to observe any of their lessons. Have your camera and microphone muted so that you can observe the class without any disturbance.

    If you are observing students in breakout rooms, this can be a little disruptive as they will be able to see there is an extra person present. Therefore, ask your teachers to explain it to the students beforehand, so that they are not concerned.

  2. Check Recorded Observations

    Another way you can observe your teachers is by asking them to record their sessions. This way you do not have to drop in for their sessions and disturb the class but can just check the recording sessions. You can randomly select any session that you want to observe and give your honest feedback to the teachers.

    Another big advantage of watching recording sessions is that when you are discussing the lesson, you can go to that specific part of the recording and watch it together. This can allow you to give much clearer and insightful feedback to make them more productive.

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  3. Follow Up On Complaints

    If you have any negative feedback for your employees, you can give that also through recorded feedback. You can refer to that part of the lesson where there are issues and point out what happened.

    After discussing the issue, you can talk with the teacher and decide whether there is a real problem and get their feedback on it. You can also address it with the concerned student or staff member to see how much you can support your teacher to improve in this area.

  4. Observe Student Feedback

    Online teaching is much more helpful for students as it makes it easier to capture their feedback at the end of their lesson. After every session, you can have a pop-up rating form that allows students to rate their lesson.

    You can either ask a set of questionnaires or just ask them to rate the lesson from 1 to 5. However, at the end of the sessions, students might be in a hurry to be somewhere else, hence instruct your teachers to make them do it anonymously 5 minutes before every class ends.

  5. Collect Digital Data

    One of the major problems that can occur with collecting data is that you can have too much of it. If you have to watch all the recorded sessions of all the teachers, it will be too much for you and it will take too long. While collecting student feedback, you can end up having a heap of it.

    This can be potentially helpful, but drawing a possible conclusion by analyzing the data can be a little time-consuming. In that case what you can do is, randomly pick one video or student feedback for a particular teacher and sort your observations based on that. Be aware of the teacher's strengths and weaknesses and draw possible conclusions from them.

  6. Go Through Teaching Portfolios

    Ask your teachers to create a teaching portfolio by editing the best parts of their lessons into short clips. They can either keep them to themselves or you can build a common platform where they can share these for their peers or management to watch.

    Using these portfolios can be a good way to deal with your data overload and teachers can put their best foot forward to show you their best sessions. It is kind of a win-win situation for both.

  7. Create An Online Staffroom

    When teachers work in physical schools, they bump into each other now and then and can share materials and ideas. However, with online teaching, this might not always be possible thereby making them more isolated.

    Thus, creating an online staffroom can be a good idea where teachers can share articles, activities, and resources that they have used in their sessions. You can also create an open video chat room so that English teachers can hang out with peers in between their classes through live chat and socialize.

  8. Conduct Video Support Meetings

    Just like video chat rooms, video support meetings are a good way to help your teachers. Conduct formal or informal chats with your employees and organize face-to-face catch-up meetings with them to ensure they feel supported both emotionally, mentally, and pedagogically.

    Group messages, texts, and emails are a good way of staying connected but then again there are times when your staff might have issues and concerns that they want to discuss with you in person. Thus, giving them space and comfort is the best way to support them.

Wrapping it Up

Just because your teachers are working remotely, it by no means mean that they cannot have staff meetings or they don't deserve your support. Since they have undergone a huge transition, they deserve your help and guidance more than anyone else. Thus, if you feel like your ESL teachers require more upgradation in terms of career or qualifications, try to help them pursue in-person or live online TEFL Course. This will help them understand how the virtual teaching world functions and what steps are needed to be taken from their end.

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