The most frustrating thing about teaching ESL online is the possibility of potential Internet problems that may arise during a lesson. Technical issues can alter the flow of the course and will most likely result in a disruptive experience for both yourself and the student. Often times online ESL companies are aware of the route of the problem but it doesn’t hurt to take screenshots of your connection to prove that the hitch was not on your end. This ensures a sense of proof to avoid any discrepancies with pay or disciplinary action. Reputable companies help teachers out under these stressful circumstances while others may view internet commotions as an opportunity to deduct pay from the contractor by placing unwarranted blame on the teacher. The best way to remedy these problems from occurring in the first place is to take preventative measures to avoid these nuisances (Listed below).
I had a serious problem with my computer’s camera not working properly right before my lesson. It would display “Camera not Connected” and I would have to restart my computer causing a late fee deduction in pay.
It is important to keep a positive attitude while the IT is working on any connection problems and to not seem disinterested or distracted – This will reflect upon your status as a teacher within the confines of the ESL company. It is important to stay positive during these times and remain relaxed to keep the students engaged and their parents satisfied.
If you are teaching a trial lesson, connection issues significantly reduce the chances of students signing up which can affect company bonuses and incentives. However, going the extra mile and giving a bit more effort after a setback can show the student’s parents your dedication in ensuring a great customer experience. An ESL instructor can do this by offering additional trial course at another date and/or teaching longer than the allotted time with the student once tech issues are settled.
How to Avoid Potential Internet Problems
1# Remedy what the problem is – Is it audio, Video, WiFi, A Faulty Ethernet cable? What side is the concern coming from (The teacher’s side, student’s side or company’s)? What resources are at your disposal to assist you?
2# Upon changing locations, perform an Internet test wherever you are at least 24 hours in advance. If you are traveling, see if you can call ahead of time to the hotel or hostel to run a test to secure adequate Internet & circumvent problems.
3# Wake up 30 minutes before your first class to make sure everything is working properly including headset, audio, and video.
4# Perform all updates the night before teaching (or on off days) and get it out of the way to give your operating system enough time to adapt to new nodes.
5# Have a backup Internet plan such as a mobile hot spot in case unexpected issues arise.
Here are some great companies that offer big bonuses for signing up students