I’ve been ready to teach online for years. Or so I thought. The more I learn about it, the more I realize I have much more to learn.
Maybe you have had similar thoughts and wonderings and would appreciate an overview of how you can check in with yourself on how ready you are to teach online?

Being a student in an online degree program I am struck by the art of many of my instructors, with skills I have yet to develop, and other instructors who have so much to offer but are struggling to communicate better online. I am glad they are bravely offering their expertise, but they also provide the example of what we all have to work toward in online education.

Where are the Online Teaching Jobs?

Not all K-12 institutions offer online options for their students yet. Some K-12s are moving toward an online course requirement; some are doing it as a response to a state mandate while others are forging ahead of their state. The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) shares data from 2016 in their 21st Century Skills: Implementing Online Course Requirement Policies for High School Graduation and this 2012 presentation.

Some state departments of education offers state-wide online course offerings. I am most familiar with Georgia Virtual Learning {Read Related: #eTeacherTOOL Experience}, but even my K12 school district in Georgia subscribes to some Florida Virtual Learning courses.

Online courses are popular as a subset of many brick and mortar colleges and are the only mode of teaching in some completely online colleges. These colleges might be a good place to start as an adjunct professor. Adjuncts typically teach, communicate, and assess from predetermined templates, a nice way to ease into online teaching.

How do I Know?

You may be interested in something more formal. Here are some online inventories which might help better illustrate the skills to both learn and teach online:

Designing and Teaching for Impact in Online Courses – Indiana University

iStudy for Success! – Penn State University

Ready? To Teach Online – SUNY Consortium

The SUNY Consortium offers many videos around online teaching. I found this to be one of their best:

Have to See It?

A good way to find out if you would like to be an online teacher is to start by being an online student. There are many free online courses you can step through to get the gist of what online educational content looks like (Related Read: MOOCs} and feels like to step through as a learner. Many of these courses are not moderated, however, but being a teacher you may be able to consider how you would teach with the content.

As teachers, we grew up observing teachers. Usually, that meant face-to-face classrooms. But what if you could observe an online class? Examine the course design, layout, plans for communication built into the course structure in these SUNY exemplare open courses.

For my Online Teaching Endorsement from the state of Georgia, I was able to shadow an online teacher in the Georgia Virtual School as part of my endorsement work.

Bottom Line?

If you scored reasonably well on the above inventories it may suggest you are ready to try online teaching or learning.

Consider your local opportunities as they can offer offline support easiest, but do not forget to cast your job search net wide as well since many of these teaching jobs can be done remotely.

INFOGRAPHIC: Readiness for Online Teaching & Learning

Readiness for Online Teaching & Learning