Online Teaching Options for New Teachers

I have been in education for more than 30 years and the most important thing I’ve learned about being a successful teacher is that we must keep up with the constant changes in our field. After all, education that fails to change with the times can often become stagnate and less effective. Thus, as educators, we must learn to adapt to the ever-changing world around us, if we expect our students to follow suit.

For many established educators, keeping pace with the changes brought about by COVID-19 has required a great deal of self-sacrifice, relearning, and thinking outside the box. However, for younger teachers, who are in many ways themselves a bi-product of advancing technology, the shift to e-learning may be a bit easier. In this article, I will explore the emerging offerings for teachers looking to enter into the field of e-learning.

I’d like to begin by citing a quote found in a recent article on e-learning in The Globe and Mail, which I find apt in summarizing the current state of affairs in education. In the article, Halifax-based education consultant, Paul Bennett states that:

“The education world has been turned upside down. The assumption was that [online learning] was all supplemental to regular in-class learning, and there was no real focus in Canada on the possibility that e-learning would be the spine of the system and not a supplement to the regular classroom.”

When it comes to online education, there are two main approaches: synchronous and asynchronous learning. Synchronous learning refers to online or distance education that happens in real time, whereas asynchronous learning occurs through online channels without real-time interaction. Many hybrid e-learning models include a blend of both approaches; however, models that strictly rely on one or the other will have some distinctly different features.

Many recent Ontario graduates in the field of Education are facing new challenges in completing their practicum or securing teaching positions. As a result, e-Learning courses are quickly becoming the go-to option, particularly given the current state of affairs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Within the public system, e-learning Credit Courses are courses taught by online teachers through the provincial Learning Management System (LMS). These courses are offered as flexible options for students who are not able to attend physical classes, for any number of reasons, including limited course offerings or scheduling conflicts at the local school, disability or illness.

There are also a number of private e-Learning providers also offering Ministry-inspected OSSD credit courses, such as Ontario Virtual School. These schools operate using their own Learning Management Systems and often provide a wider range of courses with more flexible enrolment and completion options.

Whether you are looking to explore the public or private sector, there are many schools actively searching for OCT-certified educators to teach these e-Learning courses. This article provides some excellent steps you can follow as you prepare to teach in an online format.

Ultimately, once you have your teaching certificate, the opportunities available to you in the field of e-learning are virtually endless. So, my fellow teachers, my suggestion to you is to do your homework and follow the 3 Rs: Research, Review and Revisit.

Wishing you the best of luck,
Rob Ford

OCT, B.Ed, C.P.C.O., TESOL, N.C.C.P.
Ontario Virtual School, Director of Marketing
Email: [email protected]

Additional Resources: Article: General Information about Teaching Online
Wired News Article: Making the Transition to Online Learning Work for You