Students in online schools are highly independent learners. But they do require guidance time and again. It’s important to understand the role of teachers teaching online.
As we know, education is a Tripolar process, it revolves around the student, teacher, and the environment. With no teacher intervention, this process cannot be fruitful.
In General, Teacher intervention helps in:
- Timely identification of issues.
- Gauging the reasons that are pulling back a student.
- Getting the students back on the right track.
- Making the parent community aware of certain behavioural issues.
Let’s take examples of some specific scenarios when teacher intervention becomes necessary in an online school program:
A particular learning style is not working with the child:
There are times when a particular learning style is not working with a child. This can be because of the clash between the type of learner and the type of instruction.
Understanding of Learning styles and intelligence theories helps in selecting the best way to teach the student.
Time to time modification in the process is required for some students keeping the individual differences in mind.
A tendency to procrastinate is visible:
Students who procrastinate unnecessary need to be checked at the very onset of this habit formation. Procrastination also means poor time management, self- doubt and entails serious and long term effects in the education of a child.
Teacher intervention is a must when there are warning signs of procrastination visible in a particular student.
Pain areas and workable points are hindering the progress of the child:
Teacher intervention is also required to understand the hindrances in achieving educational goals. Students might not meet the set benchmarks at times.
Also, some students face extra difficulty in certain specific subjects. This is where a good online school program teacher intervenes and provides extra support to such students. Referring to extra supplementary reading material, changing timelines, connecting more often via web conferencing, messaging or e-mails etc. are all helpful.
It is also seen at times that, poorly planned self-directed learning schedules and planning does not work well with some students. Teachers need to guide them through the desired changes that need to be made.
Seek clarity for selecting the right resource:
In this age of free online resources floating across the internet. Students might or might not choose the right source at times. Teacher intervention becomes all the more important when there is a selection of inappropriate resources for studying. Age of a learner, the credibility of content and, need of an extra resource is best decided by a teacher.
Require counselling for indulging in Malpractices:
Online school program students are extremely knowledgeable about the use of the internet. They may indulge in malpractices and make a mockery of the whole system. Similar to the traditional brick and mortar schools, copying and cheating during projects, assignments, and assessments are also seen in online mediums. Teachers teaching online need to be extremely vigilant about the ways adopted by a student for the completion of tasks.
Synchronous classes are becoming lopsided and dominated by some –
- Signs of Mental health issues – While there are talks about increasing the opportunities for interaction among students, it is equally important for an online teacher to intervene if there are signs of bullying, verbal abuse, bogging down, grouping etc. among the students. Mental health issues in certain students become a concern for the rest. Apart from any other role, online teachers need to intervene (either subtly or directly) in such cases as well. Also, if need be the teacher must look for a resolution for the students who seem deviant.
- Equality of participation – During synchronous classes in an online school program, the teacher should check the level of participation of all students equally. Outspoken and extrovert students might not need a lot of motivation to speak. But the introverts do require more attention and motivation.
Underachievement – Overall Teaching at an online school and learning process needs a direction-
There are times when the entire teaching and learning process needs a new direction. In this age of student-centric education there is a need to shift the paradigm as per the student’s progress. Teacher intervention is helpful in times when a student underachieves despite having potential. This also makes him depressed and demotivated. Apart from bringing the student out of depression. A full-fledged review of the current practices and a way forward plan is also necessary from the teacher’s side. Changes in the teacher made strategies promote better results.
Students are not able to utilize the collaborative teaching approach in an online school well:
A collaborative teaching approach is an excellent tool. However, there has to be a check on the actual outputs from this practice. If students are getting distracted, not indulging in fruitful discussions, equal participation and mutual respect are missing, the teacher needs to intervene. If the collaborative project discussions or meetings are turning out as a wasteful activity, timely interventions and hand-holding are necessary to help to correct the students.
Signs of Delinquency are visible:
When a teacher notices signs of delinquency and deviant behaviour in a child. Intervention becomes of utmost important here. Immediate corrective measures are required in such cases to prevent further damage.
So we can conclude that,
Teacher in an online school is a ‘Role Model’, guide and facilitator. He/she has to be equally self-motivated and disciplined as the students.
As intrinsic motivation works wonders in remote learning. Keeping students motivated is another important role of an online teacher.
Timely intervention with necessary freedom helps in achieving the best results. Hence, positive teacher intervention is a supportive pillar of good online education.