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Thanks to technological advances and the increased demand for skilled workers, online education has become increasingly accessible to students around the world. But as more schools start to offer their courses online, it can be difficult to determine which programs are reputable and which ones are just trying to make a quick buck from your tuition money. A few things you should look out for when choosing an online teacher include these ten key qualities.

1. Passionate

Passion is an important trait for teachers because it means they’re more likely to care about their subject and be excited about sharing that knowledge with students. As mentioned above, learning isn’t always easy. It takes hard work, and passion is what pushes people to put in that extra effort. So, whether you have a passion for coding or want to inspire kids about space travel—passion is key!

2. An Understanding of Their Subject

You may not realize it, but one of the most significant factors of being a good online teacher is to know your subject. After all, you can’t teach what you don’t know! When we were in school, it was easy to see who was an expert and who wasn’t—but these days there are many ways to learn online. For example, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are very popular at educational sites like MyCoolClass.

3. Enthusiastic

One of my favorite, most impactful teachers in college was an enthusiastic, high-energy bundle of nerves. She could fire us up with stories and knowledge like no other teacher before or since, and she truly had a gift for teaching. What makes her such an effective educator is her ability to communicate clearly and enthusiastically. Enthusiasm can be contagious. Students are more likely to take note when their teacher seems excited about their subject.

4. Energetic

A good online teacher puts energy into every lesson, regardless of age or experience level. You don’t have to be loud and outgoing all day, but you should be present, even in your written correspondence. As with anything you do for business (or in your personal life), it pays to be cheerful and attentive. Some teachers are nervous about writing back to students via email or on discussion boards, but don’t let that stop you from putting some energy into your messages.

5. Love Learning as Much as Teaching

It’s important to teach properly, but it is also important to want to learn. Additionally, ensure that you’re always learning about new teaching techniques and education trends. Technology is an ever-changing industry; it’s essential for educators to keep up to date on what’s working and what’s not. Attend conferences, read journals, watch lectures—there are plenty of great resources available.

6. Patient

Everyone learns at their own pace. A great teacher needs to be patient and calm, never rushing through the content or becoming frustrated with students who are struggling. Whether you’re talking in person or online, patience is paramount. As with anything in life, it’s crucial to be kind and patient when you’re teaching something new.

7. Excellent Communicator

Communication is key to good teaching. A great teacher will be able to explain concepts in different ways and at varying levels, depending on their audience.

8. Adaptable/Creative

It is indispensable to teach students in ways that can adapt to any situation and be creative. The way you go about teaching your subject should differ depending on who you are talking to. You must have an open mind and be willing to learn new things along with your students. Also, it’s good if teachers are creative with their methods, so they do not get stuck in any one style and stay up to date with what students like today.

9. Know How to Motivate Students

A great online teacher not only knows how to instruct but also knows how to motivate his students. A good teacher can get their students excited about learning, which ensures more engagement in class and a greater chance for their students to remember and apply what they’ve learned.

10. Is Focused on Learners

When teachers focus on learners, they can develop effective instructional strategies that motivate students to learn. Focusing on learners also helps teachers create lesson plans and activities that cater to different learning styles. To teach effectively, focus on your audience: Who are your learners? What do they want out of your class? How do you cater to their learning style? When creating lessons or teaching ideas, think about how each will impact your audience’s educational experience.

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