I took a parenting class a couple of years ago and whenever one of us students asked a tough question to the teacher (you know, posed one of those impossible-to-solve parenting dilemmas) the teacher always responded with an empathetic shake of the head and by saying “Parenting is not for the faint of heart!” It was a response that frustrated me, but, alas, I see her point. There are some situations that just don’t have “answers” and that can only be resolved with commitment in the face of adversity.
Where is the segue to online teaching? Ha! Here it is. Sometimes, when members of our community reach out to me frustrated by the online application job hunt, I am pulled to give an empathetic shake of my head and to say “Looking for online adjunct jobs is not for the faint of heart!” I don’t say it, mainly because I didn’t like it when the parenting class instructor said it to me. However, that I’m pulled to means there are some parallels. Sometimes, in the online job hunt, there is no answer – nothing you are doing particularly wrong – its just dog eat dog. A numbers game.
However, there are a few strategies that may be helpful in strengthening your approach. We’ve discussed some in a previous article that I’ll link to here titled, “Getting LMS Experience – Where to Start.” Another idea? Especially if you find you are in need of both online teaching experience AND money? Host and teach your own online class.
The internet is full of platforms people use to teach their own online classes – like Teachable, Udemy, and Ruzuku. On these platforms, you’ll find classes teaching anything from how to cultivate beehives to theoretical physics. If you have some curriculum put together and need a place to share it, to help market it, and to ultimately teach it (giving you online teaching experience for your resume!) consider doing some research into one of these online class platforms. These platforms all have different business models, so how you collect money from your students (if you choose to at all) and how the platforms collect money from you can differ wildly, so its important to do your research.
When it comes to giving you a list of these course-hosting sites, someone’s already done the work for me, so I’ll post a link here: 10 Platforms You Can Use to Host Your Online Courses.
My advice – take a look around at classes hosted on these sites that might be similar to yours. Or one you find interesting. How does the instructor approach it? How much information do they offer? How big of a project does this seem to be? Am I willing to take this on? Once you sign up for a platform, guaranteed a representative will call or email you (in my experience, it was call) and talk more about what you are planning to do. They can offer guidance as well.
Do you have any experience hosting and teaching your own online class? Have you considered this angle before? Please leave a comment below and we can discuss!