Take it from a teacher who lived through the Spring 2020 semester, engaging students out of the classroom is harder than it sounds. Often it hinges on how well the teacher can transfer their enthusiasm through a computer screen. In other words, emailing assignments once a day alone won’t cut it if your goal is to offer real substantive lessons to your students. But even the most engaging lessons require work on the periphery to hold it all together. Here are Remark’s top 6 tips for teachers who are about to start the new school year.

  1. Embrace technology.

The future has won. Zoom, Google Classroom, and yes, even our Remark Test Grading Cloud application are now commonplace across the world. Don’t fight it. Most of your co-workers won’t be, and that means your students will quickly begin to favor their classes above yours. If you are having trouble, contact the company’s support team, other teachers, or even students you can trust to show you how to use your new technological assets. Often, YouTube can be beneficial as well, with walkthroughs on everything from building a car from scratch to grading your 7th-period history class.

  1. Try new things.

Maybe you’re a new teacher, maybe you’re a well-seasoned veteran with the scars to prove it. Doesn’t matter, this situation is new to everyone. You will fail, just like you did in your first year, and you will learn from those mistakes. Very quickly you will learn what works, what doesn’t, and what needs improvement. So swing for the fences, if it doesn’t work, the lessons that you learn along the way will be invaluable for the next lesson. And aren’t teachers life long learners?

  1. Communicate with parents.

If a kid has their head down in class, it’s easy to correct. If a kid has their head down at home, that could be a thirty-six-minute drive on the highway to their house to fix. Obviously—not an option. But don’t fret, because many of your students will have parents at home working alongside them. A simple phone call, or even a text to ask why their child hasn’t signed in or submitted assignments will go a long way to seeing those engagement numbers go up.

  1. Get your students together when possible.

Getting your students together goes a very long way in keeping your students hyper-engaged in your class. Very quickly they will associate the joy of seeing their friends with YOUR classroom.

  1. Offer office hours.

When you’re in school, often teachers can come in before or after school. They can bring students up to their classroom to make up assignments at any point during the day. Obviously, this is a tad harder at home. That’s why it’s best to set a specific time aside for students to speak with you about any questions, comments, or concerns. Teachers with office hours go the extra mile, and each and every student, co-worker, and parent will recognize it.

  1. Create proper assessments.

Your toolbox is now almost entirely different, which means so are your assessments. Think before you create any lesson about what the goal is, and what you want the students to learn. Think about your assessments first, how will you reasonably demonstrate your lesson was a success using only virtual tools? Think backward when creating your lessons for the best effect.

While not a perfect list, I promise if you follow these six tips your time as an online teacher will go much smoother than you realize. Challenges will arise, inevitably. Some totally out of your control. But if you hold on, and keep grinding, you will see the fruits of all your labor one way or the other.

For more tips, information, or support, check out our blog, YouTube channel, or Twitter for more content. For more information on the most dynamic grading solution on the market Remark Test Grading Cloud, you can sign up for a live webinar or request a free trial to try the application for yourself. You can also contact our sales team at [email protected] or 1.800.858.0860.