In the same way, not all teachers successfully teach face-to-face; not all teachers are successful teaching virtually. Teaching virtually requires a specific set of skills and the right personality.
One of the main things that the hiring committee looks for in a candidate is their personality. They are looking for a bubbly, creative, caring, and innovative person. In addition, they are looking for a person who will handle the high demands of the job while creating meaningful relationships with parents and students. So, as a candidate, don’t be afraid to show your personality; talk about your hobbies, personal experiences, and what makes you different. Your life experiences, hobbies, and interests may help you relate to various students or push you to think out of the box. These are valuable skills in the virtual world.
State virtual schools look for a valid teaching certificate, teaching experience, multiple certifications, and the right personality to fit into the school’s culture.
As a state virtual school teacher, you will be expected to work with your department, be part of a Professional Learning Community and work with the rest of the faculty and staff to ensure student learning and academic growth. Because of this, the hiring committee looks for like-minded individuals ready to work collaboratively, share resources, and work towards a common goal.
Although things may change in the future, in my experience, administrators at this point look for candidates with some teaching experience. Not always required, but teaching experience is a plus. You do not have to be a seasoned teacher, but it helps to have some experience with teaching models, methodology, diverse populations, etc. Please remember that teaching experience may include tutoring, Sunday school, camps, etc. Just because you have not taught at a public or private school doesn’t mean you do not have teaching experience.
A state valid teaching certificate is something virtual public schools look for. Depending on your qualifications, the needs of the school, and your situation, they may accept an educator statement of eligibility. Still, it is essential to check with the human resources office to make sure you meet the minimum requirements for the job as it varies from district to district.
In my experience, after being part of several hiring committees, teachers with multiple certifications are preferred for most positions. Depending on the school, as a virtual teacher, you may teach several different preps or classes. Having multiple certifications makes you a more versatile and valuable teacher. The needs of the school change every year and sometimes every semester. Having teachers with multiple certifications makes it easier to serve the student body. For example, if you are certified in English, Math, and Physical Education (P.E), you may teach two sections of P.E., 2 of English, and 2 of Math. Next year, if the students’ needs change and the demand for courses change, you may teach only English, only Math, or only P.E.
Independent virtual teaching jobs requirements and minimum qualifications vary depending on the company. You may not need to have a teaching certificate to be a virtual and online teacher when you work for independent virtual education programs such as Outschool.
Not all virtual teaching jobs are through the state or the department of education. Nowadays, there are many independent companies hiring teachers to teach multiple classes, skills, and workshops online. In addition, many teacher entrepreneurs (Teacherpreneurs) have decided to share their knowledge and skills. They simply work for themselves, offering classes, workshops, or coaching through different online platforms such as Zoom or Instagram.
Most online teaching companies are looking for a bright, exciting personality to engage kids and learners throughout an entire lesson.
I hold a Bachelor’s in Foreign Language Education (Spanish), a Master’s in Instructional Design & Technology, and. a Master’s in Educational Leadership. I have been teaching for over 16 years, of which I spent 7 in the face-to-face (brick and mortar) classroom and 9 in the virtual world.
During High school, I volunteered at a local Elementary School teaching Spanish. While attending the College of Education at my University, I interned at a Middle School and later at a High School. I quickly realized I loved teaching Middle School. My first job was teaching Spanish to middle schoolers (6th, 7th, and 8th graders). In addition, I stayed in touch and tutored my previous students while they attended high school. I tutored a group of 10 high school kids regularly.
Once I became a Public School Virtual Teacher, I mainly taught high school students (9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders). As the program grew, I continued to teach high schoolers, but we added middle schoolers. Last year, the program continued to grow, and our district implemented an Elementary Virtual Spanish curriculum for kids (K-5th). Nowadays, I teach students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. I truly enjoy the diversity and versatility of such a range of ages, abilities, and interests.
Virtual teaching is not for everyone; however, it can be a rewarding choice or a needed change to continue improving your teaching practice. The requirements and qualifications vary depending on the job and company you work for but, almost anyone with the right personality can teach online.
You may be able to find a virtual teaching job at your local school district or one nearby that may allow you to keep some of your face-to-face teaching benefits such as retirement, sick days, etc. State virtual teaching jobs have more requirements than other platforms; however, you may be halfway there if you already have a teaching certificate.
In addition, independent teaching platforms and companies are constantly looking for teachers to teach a diverse array of classes and skills. In this case, you may not need any teaching credentials or certification. Instead, you will teach things that you are passionate about while they do most of the promotion and marketing work.
Moreover, if you are a teacherpreneur, you may develop your own course and offer your services via different social media platforms or learning platforms. This would allow you to be your own boss and teach the way you have always dreamed about.
In my experience, the number one requirement to become a successful virtual educator is to have an innovative and engaging personality. You should also have good organizational and communication skills.