Teaching is an investment of your time and experience in shaping the worldview of another person - your students. With the rise of online jobs from home, the profile of teachers is also undergoing a sea change.

You may be a high school teacher or at a higher level of your profession. However, students who need help with coping with changing landscape of education in India, are looking for teachers, irrespective of their level of education, who can adapt to the shifting demands of digital technology and the varied learning needs of students.

Online teaching jobs are not for those who are looking for online jobs from home without investment. It is true that working from home as a teacher may cost less money (saving on travel and eating out).

However, when it comes to addressing the concerns of your customers, in this case, students and their parents, online lessons can be a lot more demanding.

Students are not a homogenous entity. Every student comes with their own quirks, moods, needs, attitudes, and qualities. It is the job of a teacher to harness the latent potential of a student and turn it into reality.  

In terms of teaching experience, aptitude, and the teacher's willingness to learn and grow with the student, online jobs are not for those tutors who are looking to earn a quick buck without devoting days and hours to understanding students first.

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No two student profiles are the same. Success and failure in academics are influenced by a number of considerations. Some of these may be directly tied to the students themselves.

In some cases, however, a student may face challenges at home that may produce a reluctant learner. An online tutor must take into account these obstacles to learning for a truly rewarding teaching experience.

A laptop displaying online learning
Online learning has become one of the most advantageous forms of education for its efficiency. Source: Potential.com

Reasons Why Students May Be Unmotivated in Class

The online job of a tutor is not only about teaching various subjects to students. It also requires a holistic understanding of what the student is lacking, his/her needs for better performance in academics as well as learning and cultivating some universal values.

Online teachers working from home need to first assess why a student may be reluctant to lean, in the first place. This can be done by understanding what it is that is lacking in a student's overall academic development.

Student Profile 1: Inability to Do Assigned Work

This type of student may be lacking the essential skills required to accomplish academic tasks. It can imply that the student has a deficit in basic academic skills, cognitive strategies, and academic enabler skills.

Student Profile 2: Student Feels Response Effort is Too Great

This student has the necessary skills to accomplish a given task but may not apply those skills on the job. The perceived effort needed for the task may be too overwhelming for the student to deprive him/her of the motivation needed to complete it.

Student Profile 3: Unengaging Lesson

Online tutoring is a lot about holding the attention of your students. If your lessons are not interactive and engaging, students might switch in the middle of a lesson. They will not remember what has been taught a couple of days ago!

Student Profile 4: Lack of Reward

A private tutoring job has the same requirements as any other teaching job. It involves praising your students for their hard work, rewarding them for quality assignments. If a student feels unacknowledged, it may lead to a growing disinterest in online tuition.

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Student Profile 5: Low Self-efficacy

This type of student lacks self-confidence in acing the subject you may be tutoring such as English, maths, or science. In such a scenario, the onus is upon the private tutor to support the child beyond what he/she is receiving at school.

Self confidence
The role of a private tutor is to encourage students to be who they want to be. | Source: Sydney Rae on Unsplash

Motivating Reluctant Student Through Online Jobs from Home

Working from home has its own challenges. For a teacher, reluctant learners can become a nightmare. For this reason, online tutors must devote an hour or two to educate themselves about potential challenges in this regard before commencing online tuition, and how to address them.

Learn About What Interests Your Students

Students learn differently. And, they have their own likes and dislikes. While some may enjoy English prose, there are those who love the challenge of Maths and Science. Even the same subjects may inspire different emotions in students. Take the first two days of online lessons to learn about these student preferences.

Not just academics, the job of a private tutor is also getting to know a student's likes and dislikes beyond the subjects they are learning in schools and colleges.

Design and advertise your content service in such a way that tells your customer (students) that there is space for two-way growth. Tutoring should not be just about earning a salary.

Your lesson design could include a few minutes of storytelling to start off the session. This will ensure that students are on board with your lesson.

Encourage students to share stories they want to. Don't let the constraints of a remote work location get in the way of engaging and immersive learning.

Use a Multisensory Form of Instruction

Facilitate learning through the use of all the senses. This improves the power of retention in students, not to mention the engaging nature of the lesson. Students will feel more involved in the process of learning when they actually get to hear, see, or feel the things you, as their teacher, are talking about.

For example, multisensory teaching can be applied to math where teachers use base ten blocks and two-sided counters to demonstrate counting numbers, addition, subtraction, and other operations. English vocabulary can be taught using the technique of drawing that allows students to capture a word meaning and express it through sketches and illustrations.

Multisensory approach
A multisensory approach to education makes learning easy and more engaging for students. | Source: Vural Yavaş from Pixabay

Get Them Involved

When you decide to teach something new to the children in your class, consider involving them more so that they can apply themselves as they learn. A reluctant student may feel it is enough to do the bare minimum to get through a class. They may feel that this level of learning is sufficient.

Check out these effective strategies to improve your online teaching.

What do you do as their tutor? Involve them in the creation of the lesson itself! Ask them what they would like to see or learn in the next class. Often, it is this special attention that can mean the world to them. It makes children feel they are trusted. They can enjoy themselves by getting involved, shedding their inhibitions gradually.

Teach Them the Power of Personal Choice

Incorporate the liberating element of choice into your lesson plans. For example, tell your students that they are free to use any words or phrases that they view as appropriate to begin an English essay writing assignment.

Similarly, students may be given a choice to select the number of questions they wish to answer in class today, provided they promise to finish the rest in time for a final assessment.

Teach, Support, and Grow

Teachers are often role models for their students. The academic achievements that qualified you to do the job initially may not be enough to sustain you through a career of teaching, irrespective of your experience.

Whether you are an online teacher for university students or various levels in school education, knowing a few simple means to easily motivate your students, without pushing them, is a handy tool in a tutor's teaching inventory.

Appreciation goes a long way in telling students that their work is on track. Even if someone does not turn in an assignment on time, due to certain unavoidable reasons at home, lend an ear of support. Tell them you know how hard he or she has been working and that one delayed homework will not change how highly you view them.

You must be willing to grow with your students. Be it, high school children, or graduate students in the university, a tutor, whether new or experienced, can always learn something from the students. Remember, it is not the amount of time you devote to education, but what you do with that time that will truly help to your students.

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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.