Since well before the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, online learning for K-12 students has been steadily on the rise. More than 30 states were already offering some form of distance learning for school-aged children, and almost 3 million students have been taking online classes. COVID-19 has forced teachers, parents, and students across the country to enter various forms of virtual classrooms, and the demand for online teachers is expected to persist indefinitely.
You can pursue a variety of online teaching jobs from home with only a bachelor’s degree, even if your degree is not in education. Although many online schools prefer teachers with certification, demand is growing for teachers, tutors, and test scorers without professional licensing. While teaching online has similarities to classroom teaching, it’s important to understand the significant differences in how the two methods are accomplished.
There are many distinct differences between teaching on-ground and online. How you communicate, how you deliver instruction and conduct assessments, how you create a classroom culture, how students interact with you and each other, and the type of instructional materials you use will all be different than if you were in a brick-and-mortar classroom.
In some ways, teaching online is harder than classroom teaching because you have to use inorganic methods to get to know your students and their needs. When face-to-face, it’s natural to read facial expressions and body language, and it’s commonplace to make small talk, getting to know one another before class starts, during small group work, and even after class when students may congregate for social reasons. You’ll have to work to create these opportunities online by using video conferencing software, discussion boards, and interactive lessons and activities that encourage one-on-one and small group participation. It can be done; it will just require thought, planning, and resources.
Opportunities for online teaching jobs with a bachelor’s degree and no certification generally do not involve lesson planning; the employer provides a curriculum and script to follow. However, you will need to schedule your online time to be available for your students who could be in vastly different time zones. You may have to dedicate evenings or weekend mornings to work.
Online teaching jobs from home call for a new level of technological prowess beyond the chalkboard and slide projector. Rapidly evolving technology requires constant dedication to learning new ways of interacting virtually. Understanding hardware and software is critical to staying connected with students and keeping them engaged.
In a traditional classroom, the teacher often lectures for an hour or more. It’s challenging enough to keep students’ attention with this delivery method, but it will simply not work remotely. You’ll need to use more interactive methods so your lessons won’t be one-sided. Children of different age groups and cultures respond to varying types of motivation, so you’ll need to experiment and discover what works best in each scenario.
New teachers can improve their chances of success by keeping things simple at first. Set up virtual learning experiences with lean, clear instructions and one or two resources. Give students and their parents PDFs that they can turn to for reference.
As of April 2020, online teachers in the U.S. earn an average salary of $42,579 per year. The lowest reported annual salary was $31,000 and the highest was $60,000. This field is expected to grow by 30% annually due to the increasing demand for remote learning.
Job boards list plentiful openings for online teaching jobs with a bachelor’s degree. Professional certification or experience can help candidates stand out and make more opportunities available, but neither is necessary for some online teaching positions.
If you have a bachelor’s degree but no certification, well-paying online teaching jobs in education are still within reach. Dozens of companies have openings for people with bachelor’s degrees to teach English as a second language. These jobs don’t require certification. They are an ideal entry point for new teachers to get experience in the field while making a lifelong impact on students.
Private schools want teachers with work experience, degrees in related fields, and a desire to inspire students. These attributes are more important than certification in many instances. However, if a school does require certification, you may be hired temporarily until you can get certified within an acceptable time frame.
With a bachelor’s degree, you can also apply for a job as an evaluator. In this position, you work on a project basis scoring student writing tests. You would need to pass a qualifying assessment test to be hired. This work is typically seasonal.
Online teaching jobs from home let you set up your classroom anywhere you choose. A personal computer with a webcam, a strong internet connection, headset, and mic are typically all you need. You won’t need to keep a stash of notebook paper, pencils, and other school supplies for students. You’ll also save time and money normally spent on commuting, lunch, and other expenses.
Online teaching jobs in education allow you the freedom to set your own schedule. You may be able to balance this work with another part- or full-time job. Depending on your employer, you can choose to work two or three hours a day or more. You can also pick the time of day you work, according to your preferences and other responsibilities.
While many careers wax and wane due to various factors, teachers are perennially essential. Teacher shortages have been a growing problem across the nation, so schools are eager to get educators on board as quickly as possible. Educational institutions are making it easier for new graduates, career switchers, and retirees to enter the profession. A bachelor’s degree could be your ticket to rewarding online teaching jobs in education.