How to Apply to Teach for an Online School
As teachers face massive unemployment and more pink slips are handed out every day, teachers who have worked for years in what they thought was a secure position, begin to wonder if and when they will be laid off. The thought is unavoidable because all they have to do is look around them and they see their colleagues falling by the wayside. Tenure and seniority have become flimsy concepts, having little force. If the money is not allocated by the state, then cuts have to be made and the first cuts will usually be made from the liberal arts faculty, teachers of English, History, Art and Music, Speech and Dramatic Arts. Often, whole programs are cut. In one case, a Detroit Principal wanted to fire an art teacher, but she had tenure. To get rid of her, he simply cut the whole art program. For such reasons, the school curriculum is cut or administrators face being closed down. Schools are closing across the nation. Students are funneled to adjacent schools. In the wake of all of this, teachers begin to ask what they can do with their skills other than teach in a traditional school. One such alternative is to teach for an online school. This essay will explore how to make the transition to online teaching., leading to online degree programs and even online Ph.D programs.
A good place to begin your search of online teaching opportunities is a list published by The University of Texas at Austin. This list gives you the names of Community Colleges across the nation that use some form of online teaching. In most cases, the community college uses a blended approach to education. This means they offer courses on the ground and also courses online. When you apply, you must make sure that you specify online teaching. Otherwise, you may be expected to move to another state, city or district. Another source for online teaching is the for profit schools such as Argosy, Kaplan, Devry, Phoenix or Baker.Many of these schools provide a broad base in business and in the social sciences leading to a psychology degree online.
Qualifications for Teaching at an Online School
Most of these schools require you to hold at least a Masters Degree in your chosen teaching field. I suggest that you put together a folder which includes an
unofficial transcript of your academic performance, proof that you met requirements for your claimed degrees, a Curriculum Vitae, Recommendations and a Cover Letter explaining why you want to teach online for a particular school. Granted you will need to edit your cove letter and update your CV , but you will have the essential information in a package. Be sure to include upfront the experience, if any, of online teaching. To determine what other documents the school may require for hire, examine the school's website. Do not become distracted by information addressed to potential students for the school. This information will be first and foremost, but you need to dig deeper until you find a site that says something like employment opportunities. Go into this site and read their requirements. There may be forms to complete. Some may even require verified fingerprints or drug testing, via designated agencies. Once you gain clearance, you will move onto the next stage, that of the interview.In this respect, distance education does not significantly differ from traditional education.
Keep in mind that this is a slow process, so I advise you to send out multiple applications rather than waiting for each individual school to respond. Some will not respond at all. A follow up email is a good idea. Keep records on where you have applied.
In the interview, the representative of the school will want to find out your philosophy of education and if you have had experience working for an online school, what you learned and how you judged the experience. The interview will probably be by telephone or via a Skype session. It is a good idea to list some essential point you speak to and can direct the interview if given the opportunity. You should have done some research on the school, its founding and goals and how these goals fit into your own educational objectives. After you have gone through this, you must prepare yourself for another waiting game.
You Begin Teaching for Your Online School
Finally, you will get a call from the recruitment office of your school and they will tell you that you have been accepted and that you will teach your first class in a month or so. You will be assigned a mentor who will guide you in giving the students feedback. You are in. Now all you have to do is to follow up and make a good impression and you will have a more or less steady job. Because the classes usually run only 7 and 1/2 weeks, you will earn more money at the typical online school in comparison to the on-ground classes which run 16 weeks.
Your mentor may wish to give you some initial orientation before you get started. Much of this conversation will be about the platform used and the navigation system. You will find, for example, that the curriculum has already been mapped out for you. You will find that you are not required to write lesson plans for your classes. They have already been written. You are not required to work out a grading system; it has already been done for you. All you have to do is to follow the protocol. You do not have to give lectures. The lectures have been written for you and the students. You do not have to call role. This is done for you electronically.Then what do you do as an online teacher? The simple answer is that you provide feedback. Such is the nature of online degree programs.
Proving Feedback in Your Online School
As a new teacher, you will learn how to effectively provide the student with feedback. Let us assume you are assigned to teach basic composition. You would give feedback on spelling and grammar, organization and substantive content. In addition to providing substantive corrections, you are expected to share your own experience in regard to a difficult concept and to draw on the students to engage in their quest for clarity. If the teacher wants to become a master at feedback, the mentor may suggest taking a workshop in how to give feedback. Once your feedback skills are up to par, the next step is to learn how to navigate the system and to use all its features to increase proficiency.You will be helping those in need to obtain college degrees online.
If you are applying to teach for an online school, you must stay alert to the different names given to online programs, both general and specific. Look for online accredited degrees, associate degree online, online teaching masters degree, online master in teaching, and more specific ones, such as psychology degree online, online Ph.D. programs, and online law degrees.
For many online adjunct instructors, the most interesting part of teaching online for online schools is the inherent mobility that comes from intellectual labor performed on a laptop computer. The growing numbers of accredited online bachelor degree programs and accredited online master's degree programs are making it possible for an individual with a Ph.D. or master's degree to acquire an online teaching schedule populated with multiple online adjunct jobs. Each of the online college courses in the online degree programs is accessed by logging onto the Internet from a laptop or other computer. Since the online college classes are online, so to speak, it is possible to apply for an online faculty position with the community college, state college or four year university by visiting their websites and navigating to the faculty application section.