Teach Kids English Online Today!
I am going to show you some tips and tricks that will help you see just how easy it is to teach kids English online. It is a job that is fun, easy, and engaging for both the teacher and the students. First of all, the screen creates a kind of distance between the student and the teacher, so it is important to create connection between the learner and the teacher when teaching English as a foreign language online. There are many ways to establish rapport at the beginning of class when you teach kids English online.
1. Use Puppets to Teach Kids English Online
Puppets are adorable, eye-catching, and funny. The truth is that parents love seeing their kid’s teacher with a puppet at the beginning of class. Personally, I use colorful puppets that have moving mouths that can talk and pronounce words or model sentence structures. When the puppet’s mouth moves, it comes to life and truly is a living character in your classroom. The truth is that many young learners are too shy to speak English directly to you, but they will speak to a puppet. I ordered my puppet from The Puppet Company on Amazon.com and I absolutely love how lively their puppets are. My toddler loves puppets and as a mom, I experience the magic puppets bring to my child every day!
2. 2D Props that Sparkle create Connection in Online Classes
In truth, when I first started teaching kids English online, I used mainly digital props on Manycam. Then, I realized that the platform I teach on was so interactive and digital, that I needed to use more 2D printables in order to be more successful and create more connection with my students. I use 2D props to reinforce vocabulary words, to spark conversation, to extend lessons, and to indicate when it is time for the student to speak. Some of my “must-have” props are: a star, a big pencil, a large glitter magnifying glass, glitter emojis, correct/incorrect signs, “Hello” and “Nice to meet you” signs. I also use pom poms, stuffed animals, and toys for fun. I put glitter on as much as I can in the online classroom to make the colors explode. To top it off, I have a box of cookies as a prop to teach “eat” and “sweet.” You get get a set of the props I’ve made on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
3. Use bright, colorful props to teach kids English Online
When I first started teaching kids English online, I found myself drawing props and running around the house for hours searching for props. After years of teaching children online, I decided to upgrade my props and make them brighter, more colorful, and more eye-catching. These bright props increased my ratings and parent satisfaction. Parents love to see a teacher who is well-prepared, professional, and on top of his/her game. Now, I have full bookings and have to turn-down classes because I’m swamped with work. Want proof? Check out these before and after pictures of the transformation:
4. Play Games with Props when you Teach Kids English Online
There are many games that I play with kids to encourage student talk time. One of the games that I love is to roll a gigantic red dice. Whatever number it lands on dictates how many times the student says the word. It is brilliant, colorful, and exciting. Another game I play with kids online is a pinwheel game. I put pictures of voices on a pinwheel and spin the colorful wheel around. The kids have to pronounce the word with a “robot” voice or a “man” voice and it is very dramatic and it boosts engagement. In general, spinners are a wonderful addition to the online classroom. If you want to use digital spinners, you can make your own at this site and this site.
5. Use Props as Extensions and to Facilitate Student Talk Time
Sometimes, when class finishes early, I review the concept we learned with an extension. When I first started teaching online, I really didn’t have any extensions or 2D props and when I ended early, I had no idea what to do with the kids. Nowadays, I might have a poster that displays a spinner with different images on it and I ask the kids, “How do you go to school?” One student responds, “I go to school by bus.” The poster encourages more improvisation with the English language and makes learning visually stimulating.
6. Make Kids Laugh when Teaching English Online
I try to use humor as much as possible to teach kids English online. If you can break the ice and make kids laugh, you truly win their hearts. Here are some ideas to make kids laugh: Put on funny glasses, wear a clown nose, cover yourself with a blanket at the beginning of class and then dramatically uncover yourself to surprise students, wear a costume or a colorful headband, show stinky socks/feet, use a spider prop to be silly, open a box with something surprising inside. Students love funny props, especially after a long day of school. Don’t underestimate the power of humor in the online classroom.
7. Use Flashcards to Teach Kids English Online
Flashcards are an indispensable part of my online teaching methodology. When I taught in-person classes to kids, I used flashcard games creatively to encourage good pronunciation and repetition. I use them to stimulate student output and to encourage faster language acquisition. I am a visual learner and have always valued visuals in the language classroom. Therefore, I find flashcards to be highly engaging and essential. Not only that, I have a toddler at home who is learning the alphabet and key vocabulary words and I also use the flash cards with him at home, so I can kill two birds with one stone. To teach kids English online, I put the flashcards on popsicle sticks and move them close to the webcam. I like students to see a different image than the one they see on the screen in order to make further associations with the word. The more chances they can see the word in action, the more likely they are to use it and remember it.
I make my flashcards 8.5×11 so that you can print them out any size you want. You can print them big, half-size, four on a page, or six on a page. I do this because I want you to decide what is best for your own classroom and to give you the versatility to choose. You can find my flashcard food and fruit freebies here! Download, print, and teach!
8. Using Manycam for Teaching Kids English Online
Manycam is a useful tool that can be a wonderful resource for motivating kids. Nowadays, I use manycam for cool effects like putting a rain cloud over my head to teach the weather or I use the “tears” to show sadness when I say goodbye. I tend to avoid using scary masks. However, some of the animal effects are nice such as putting a frog on top of your head putting some pig ears on your face. Manycam is also useful for adjusting lighting. Not only that, I put on a welcome video before class in one of Manycam’s preset windows and I put a “goodbye” video at the end of the video. There is a free version of Manycam that many teachers use when they are starting out. However, I use the paid version because I use more presets to plan my classes. There are some alternatives to manycam like Camtwist.
In this video, I teach you how to make an intro and goodbye video in canva and insert it into manycam!
9. Finding a Company to Teach Kids English Online
There are many great companies out there to apply for. The bottom line is, find a mentor to help you navigate the onboarding process. As a matter of fact, you are more likely to be hired and to pass the interview process if you have a guide helping you who knows what is expected and required. If you try to do it alone, it might become overwhelming. You may not realize that this is a competitive industry and the expectations are high.
Magic Ears Online ESL: 4 Students in a Classroom
As you may know, I teach for Magic Ears. SIGN-UP to TEACH with Magic Ears HERE! I highly recommend the company because there are four students in the classroom and the platform is fun and dynamic. I can be your mentor if you want to apply. The cancellation policy is flexible and the hiring process has just become easier because the staff gives you feedback and you can keep trying until you get hired. Consequently, it is the best online ESL company to work for and although the bookings are slow at first since they are determined by your rank, they do pick up quickly and now I can teach for them as much as I’d like.
I’ve been teaching with Magic Ears for 5 contract periods and am a seasoned Magic Ears teacher with a Senior Ranking. My goal is to become a Magic Master! Teach with Magic Ears!
Do you want to teach at GOGOKID or Outschool? Also, if you want to try teaching at Itutorgroup to get your feet wet teaching, they have a less competitive hiring process and I would recommend Nikli Lubing as your mentor for all of those companies. Not only can she mentor you at itutorgroup, she can also help you with outschool and GogoKid!
If you need lesson plans for going solo and teaching on your own website, I highly recommend using Daniel Didio’s online ESL curriculum for kids.
10. VIP KID and Using Rewards in the Classroom
As you may have heard, VIP KID is the most renowned online ESL company for kids out there and it is a fun company to work for with great opportunities for career advancement and leadership roles. The curriculum is outstanding and the professional development is the best out there. If you want to apply to VIP KID, I highly recommend contacting Amanda Panda to help mentor you and to give you advice about making an introduction video and creating an attractive profile. You can download many freebies on her site and she also has a lovely Etsy store with a lot of wonderful props and fabulous rewards that have endless possibilities. If you need help editing your video, please contact Classroom Pro edits on instagram or facebook.
As you can see, teaching Kids English Online…
is feasible and accessible to anyone who reaches out to a mentor for help and is open minded and dedicated. The benefits of teaching kids online are many such as: a flexible schedule, you can teach while you travel, you don’t have to deal with a ton of classroom discipline issues, you don’t have to commute to work, and you can make teacher friends online. There are many perks, but I find the schedule to be conducive to pursuing my goals, family commitments, and to maintaining healthy exercise habits.