Things to avoid during an ONLINE CLASS with your students

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(Edited)
The work experiences I am having right now were never crossed in my mind before because I only see myself teaching the students in a literal classroom but when I decided to go back to the Philippines and I am in the mid-year of school year so It was difficult for me to apply for a job in an actual school. Living for months with no job bored me so I decided to find something that I can earn to sustain my daily needs and to work on a job where I can apply my skills and experiences and luckily I was hired as an English Online teacher. I am not used to teaching facing my students by the computer and this was a perfect job when the pandemic hit hard that is why I am so blessed for what was meant for me in the past two years up to this present.



It was not an easy job to deal with the far distance students, and it requires more understanding and patience. With the help of my company, I was aware of what are the things that I can only do during the class and the things that I have to avoid. Now, if some of you or you have known someone who is planning to apply or seek an online job, I am grateful to share with you the best thing to do in order for you to deliver a fruitful lesson to your students. The advantage for this is that you will receive positive feedback and evaluation from the parents and this is our aim to continue teaching with positivity and consistency.


I would like to state the things that we need to avoid during the class online. These are all based on my experiences that might possibly applicable to others as well.

  • NO showing of SCARY pictures or objects and HARMFUL things.

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Scary Dolls

In the field of ESL or any field of teaching, it is necessary that teachers must have pictures or objects to present to the students to make the learning more effective. For example, before you will start the lesson in the classroom, you must conduct first a welcome approach to your students to leave a good impression. What I am used to doing is that, if I have new students in my class, I usually used stuffed toys or puppets to ask questions from them. For example:


Teacher: (Singing a Hello song) then ask the student "How are you?"
Student: I am good!
Teacher: Are you happy today?
Student: Yes, I am happy.
Teacher: I have a friend here named "Jack" and he wants to make friends with you. Is it okay?
Student: Sure!
Teacher: (This time the teacher will introduce the toy or puppet to the student and start the conversation.)

We find it so effective but we have always be reminded that not everything we presented is good for the eyes of our students. That is why we have to be extra careful of the things we have. It is advised for us to provide cartoon clipart photos than showing the real images. I encountered a lesson that talked about a holiday on Halloween and it is expected that a scary lesson will be discussed. When I saw the lesson material I can see how they were able to plan it in a good way that makes sure it will not give a bad effect or scare the students about the lesson. Sometimes you should know your limits and never go beyond the topic. In the lesson, there is a character that he loves to wear a skeleton costume and likes to scare people. When you want to reenact the "scare" showing your two hands and facial expression was enough to let your student know about it. Don't exaggerate things and never attempt to scare your students. Always remember, we are there for them to teach and guide and not to set a barrier just because of our lack of knowledge and discipline towards our students.

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image source "gun"

Another one never shows an action to your students on how to apply these things in real life. We cannot avoid that sometimes students love to show their toys to their teachers because they are proud to have them because some were given by their loved ones as rewards for the good things they possibly did at school or at home. I encountered many times especially boys students who were showing their toy guns and sword. A teacher never connects to your student about his toy gun on how to hold, use, and sounds like. It is your goal to create an alternative to convert your student to focus on another sight than his toys but you can simply say. "Wow! that's a nice toy, my dear. Who gave you that?. Now, let's continue with the lesson. I cannot forget one time when I had a student and he was holding his sword toy and he placed it on his neck and acting like cutting it. I let him stop doing it in a good way and let him put it under his table or chair. After the class, I presented the screenshot to the management for them to be aware of what he is doing during the class. We will not just let it happen. We must do an action for him to learn what are the do's and dont's when attending an online class.

  • DON'T show your BAD BEHAVIOUR to the students

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Eye roll

If the students are having a bad day so we are teachers but it's not the same way of expressing our emotions in the class. There are many ways that will trigger the teacher to test their patience and here are the following:

  1. The student will keep on running, standing, and moving in the class.
  2. The student will not listen and respond to the teacher.
  3. The student will just imitate and keep copying what are you saying.
  4. A student who is all the time keep on shouting, screaming, and in a loud voice.
  5. The student will never talk or say a single word.
  6. The student will turn on and off the camera, pretending the microphone or headset isn't working, or will enter and leave the classroom.

I know while reading those, it gave you already a headache and I am proud that I was able to surpass all those situations and glad that I was able to make my own strategies on how to deal and handle them. I am blessed enough that I have this full of patience which I think helped me to survive in this field. There are times that you are wishing to end the class early, wanted to cry and quit or respond to the student with anger but you must learn to calm and control your emotions. Never let it drives you during the class because for sure it will create a big conflict. They are kids and you should not act like a kid too. Sometimes, we should not plant some hatred with the students especially they are in the stage of learning basic lessons so we must understand them. Always remember that in online classes we are seen and recorded and there will no excuse for you to say that you did not do it. Remain professional and know your responsibilities well. These days, my students for Kindergarten are increasing. I am glad that the company offered training to those teachers who love to teach children around 3-5 years old. I don't know why I am always destined with the younger children and I am enjoying it. I respect other teachers who are not fond of teaching young ones, especially they are 0 English ability. It takes time and a long process but we are there to guide them and as their stepping stones. Just like this situation, In 25 minutes there are about 23 slides to teach including the vocabulary, sentence, songs, story, and practice. I am the type of teacher that will find a way the student will learn the proper way. For example, the topic is vegetables. I should teach the correct pronunciation of the word vegetables. I can ask the students about what vegetables that she or he likes to eat. What are the colors of it and let the student count how many vegetables she can see. Though it's not part of the lesson material as a teacher, we should be strategic enough to give extended questions or lessons to the students to have a better understanding.

  • Never in a HURRY!

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If you are tired of having the same student all the time, take it as a positive. Working in an independent server is not easy because you have to wait for who will book your class and we must learn to be thankful for every student we will have. Now if you are not happy with your job then it is simple, quit and find that suits you and feel comfortable. We are allotted a fixed time to teach with the students. So it happens 25 minutes per student. Some might find it too short or too long but the important thing here is that the students or children are learning. By the time they leave the class, they will bring something that they can share with their friends or family.

  • EATING and DRINKING while having a class is not allowed.

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Before entering the class you have to make sure that you are full enough because we don't tolerate those teachers who are drinking and eating while having a class. Since we are already aware of our schedules and when will be the break time so we must use it according to the given time. Now we wonder sometimes that why some students are allowed to eat and drink than the teacher? Well, some are part of the business, and let's keep it that way. In my case, if my student is coughing and can identify that he or she is not feeling well then I let my student drink some water. And there are times students just arrived from school and directly will have an online class with me. Sometimes I let them take a little bite with their food because I understood when they feel hungry but I always reminding them to keep on listening with me. I don't find it as a problem with my students because I think of them as my children as well even if I don't have one. Again, teachers let's be responsible.


  • Avoid the TABOO topics

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Taboo photo

During my training, until I became an official teacher, we are always reminded about taboo topics. Now some of you are curious about it. These are topics about government, culture, history, and current issues that we must not open up or discuss with our students because there are some sensitive topics that might affect their country. This kind of action shows how we must understand and respect their culture. There are times that students themselves open up the topic but we must not elaborate it with them because maybe that type of student is not fully aware or knowledgeable about the topics that not to be discussed especially the young learners.

  • Never wear UNPROFESSIONAL attires

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Working at home does not mean that you can wear whatever you want. It will be a good impression to our students if we look presentable. If you are the type of person who is not used to wear or buy formal attires such as long sleeves because some of you find it too uncomfortable or too hot well there are many options for you to have. In my case, my room is not air-conditioned, I am just using a regular fan. Living in the Philippines is expected to experience sunny days. What I did, I bought some T-shirts with a collar in a plain yellow color since it's the color of the company I am working for. I am very careful of what I am wearing because there are times that parents will not agree with the way you dress up and luckily, it never happened yet to me and I don't want it to happen.


  • Make sure you are Physically stable

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This is the part that I hate the most because I have a very sensitive stomach. It will react at any time and anywhere. I prepared myself an hour before the class to go to the washroom but sometimes there are unexpected things that happen in our lives that we cannot control. This happened to me many times and causes me to have to leave early deduction or complaints from the parents. It is not a nice way to inform the students to leave the class or let them wait. We should commit our time for classes only not for excuses but still, even if this is an emergency, if it will affect your class then it will affect your performance too. To leave in 3 minutes is a long time already so you have to make sure to come back to the class around 1-2 minutes only. This is what I always prayed won't happen during the class because sometimes the pain distracts me.



That's all for today and I am happy that I came back and have time to share this with you all guys. Be updated for more upcoming educational posts.



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6 comments
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You always cover these topics so beautifully.

It's interesting that culture and history would be considered taboo topics in some countries. These are actually core subjects in many western countries.

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Hello @minismallholding, a beautiful Thursday to you. I felt overwhelmed by your compliments. Actually, I have no idea about taboo topics and I only found out when I started the ESL job. It's nice to know all this stuff so that I will be more aware of the words I will say and the actions I will make.

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Yes, I saw this so interesting and educational too. These are tips to hold onto for those going to apply for an online job. And not only for online but offline too. It should be applicable when going to the class because all these are something the Children will always take notice off and before you know it, they talk about you when they are with their parents. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to more of your Educational posts.

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Hi dear @princessbusayo, I am happy to meet you here in Hive. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and I know you enjoyed it. May this serves as a good lesson to everyone. Hope you will be updated for my upcoming post. See you. :-)

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Sure, I am already a follower so I can catch up with your blog.

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oh, that is so sweet of you. same as I am. Thanks again dear.

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