The popularity of tutoring jobs in India has been specifically felt in the online tutor market. As a result of the changing education landscape in India, students are increasingly looking to online tutoring services to help them cope with a rapidly changing world.

A lesson structure maps out what the students need and how the teaching should be looking to address that need.

A teacher's job, while working from home, in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, or anywhere else in India is not an easy one. Students search for tutor profiles that reflect years of experience, expertise in specific subjects like math and English, as well as detailed contact information. Make sure you have all these bits of the information listed on your online tutor profile.

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Once a student's search leads them to you, how can you ensure that you provide them with what they are looking for? Preparing a structured lesson plan for online classes holds the key to a private teacher's tutoring success. A student will view a teacher with admiration when the teaching plan appeals to a specific learning need, something he/she may be looking to desperately address.

A teacher offering online lesson
Online tuition has helped increase demand for teachers in India. Source: The Indian Express

Benefits of Planning a Lesson Well

Irrespective of the subject, math, or English, or even specific language courses, an online lesson plan must be well thought out, with clearly outlined steps for the teaching to flow seamlessly at the time of the classes. For this to happen, an online tutor must engage with the students first, in order to better understand their expectations, content and resource requirements, and learning outcomes.

Prior engagement also helps to boost a student's level of confidence. Online tutors may choose to prepare their lesson plans days or even weeks before the commencement of classes. Though prepared some time ago, at the time of delivering the lesson, tutors will be more confident.

Maximizing Time in Class

A well-prepared and organized lesson plan helps to optimize learning outcomes. Tutors are able to pace themselves and devote ample to each section in the lesson.

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Maintaining Student Engagement

Ordering and sequencing of various components in a lesson or a task also helps to address specific skills. Create a link between the lesson and deeper learning skills through the planned activities that make logical sense to the student. Once students start recognizing this link, it automatically facilitates greater engagement with their teacher.

Key Elements of a Good Tuition Lesson Plan

Students in India face unique challenges. As a corollary, the challenges and requirements of online teaching jobs in India are evidently different from those in other countries. For example, parents have far greater involvement in their ward's private tuition matters in India, no matter the subject of study - Hindi or Mathematics.

Lesson plans can be structured in a number of ways depending on the classes and the subject you are teaching. Moreover, there different learning approaches a teacher can adopt to prepare a lesson plan, such as differentiated learning, cooperative learning, multisensory learning, and so on..

A good lesson plan that is simple yet powerful is based on behavioral research that characterize well-structured lessons.

Commit yourself fully to the creation of the lesson plan. It takes time, diligence, and an understanding of your student's learning goals and level of learning abilities. The overarching goal of any online tutoring lesson is to motivate students to do better than the level they are at.

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Creating the Basic Structure

Tutors who work from home must work harder than teachers working in a conventional teaching environment, such as a school or a college. The first step is to identify and understand who you are about to educate. 

From your initial conversations, try to form an idea about the learning styles of students, their level of understanding of a subject like mathematics or English (this will vary from subject to subject), their areas of weakness and strength.

Based on this information, form clear learning goals for each lesson. The goal must ideally be a simple one-liner. For example, "Students will be able to use basic English vocabulary." Or, "Students can identify the role of math in everyday life."

If you are working with kindergarten or junior school students, you may have learning goals, such as "Students will be able to identify and write English CVC words." Your learning goal can also be based on specific skills, such as language reading or writing skills, or technical skills, such as those required in computer science lessons.

Close-up woman reading about online education
The convenience of easy access and resourceful education makes online learning extremely attractive to young students. | Source: Freepik

Plan The Stages of the Tutoring Session

Consider starting your online classes with a warm-up activity for students that will help to prime their brains to take in the lesson content. Students need time to ease into a lesson. If the lesson seems too long for the time allotted, consider breaking it up into smaller chunks that can accommodate any changes that may happen during the class.

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Presenting the Information

Often, the biggest mental hurdle to succeeding in online tutor jobs is figuring out how to present a lesson. However, tutors often forget that presenting the relevant information is as simple as it sounds. You can modify the way you present, albeit the information content remains the same. 

Your format could vary from a video tutorial or a PPT presentation, or even a short film to demonstrate a concept. The choice of format is often dictated by the student's level of learning. For example, students in kindergarten may find it more attractive and engaging if you use songs and poems in your lesson than simply reading out a story. Similarly, for a maths lesson, it may be easier to use a video tutorial.

Set Aside Time for Discussion

For an hour of online teaching, set aside at least 10 minutes for a round of discussion and reflection on the subject matter. If you plan a class that spans two hours, your discussion session should be longer. This will allow students the time and space to ask questions, clarify doubts, if any, and raise new insights.

In case you are teaching a group of fo students, stimulate group discussions. Students need to feel appreciated for the contribution they are making in class. Make sure you commend them for it!

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Make Flexible Lessons

This is absolutely critical to your success as an online teacher. No matter your subject matter expertise, if you are an online math tutor or an English tutor, you must be ready to apply flexibility to your work from a home teaching job.

While teachers should broadly stick to the lesson plan they prepare for their online classes, imparting education is also about listening to what students need. This means that tutors must be willing to compromise on a few chunks of what they had planned to teach on a particular day to address and solve a student's specific problem.

To do this well, tutors must know beforehand what they can or cannot scratch out from the lesson plan. At the same time, if you have time left over, utilize it to introduce the next lesson, or engage students in another small activity.

Incorporate and Apply 21st-Century Skills

Adaptations for online teaching
Online teachers must adapt themselves with the changing times and adopt new pedagogical methods that benefit students. | Source: Greg Bakker on Unsplash

While you spend days on online tutor jobs, researching how to prepare the perfect lesson plan, don't forget to incorporate the essential life skills into them. Students must be taught the 21st-century learning skills for them to be better prepared for the future. These unique skills are:

  1. Critical thinking
  2. Creativity
  3. Collaboration
  4. Communication
  5. Information literacy
  6. Media literacy
  7. Technology literacy
  8. Flexibility
  9. Leadership
  10. Initiative
  11. Productivity
  12. Social skills

These skills are not new inventions. They have been developed and practiced centuries ago. However, in contemporary education, they have reached a level of importance for them to earn a place of their own in pedagogical discourses.

The 12 skills can be broadly grouped into three categories.

Learning skills (the four C’s) that teach school students how to mentally adapt and improve upon a modern work environment, a critical need of the hour.

Literacy skills (IMT) help students discover new facts, publish them through various outlets, and technologies. These skills also help students distinguish between factual information and misinformation, especially relevant in the new information age.

Life skills (FLIPS) mostly apply to college students, although they may be partially introduced in school. They focus on both personal and professional qualities.

Online tutoring jobs can be immensely rewarding when done right. With experience and practice, the art of planning lessons also gets easier, although tutors must always be flexible and prepared to adapt.

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Shreyanjana

Shreyanjana is an archaeologist who ironically finds the written word to be the most powerful means of storytelling. A travel buff and a photography enthusiast, she has been writing and sharing stories of all sorts ever since she can remember.