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How do I Become an Online School Teacher?

By Carol Francois
Updated Feb 24, 2024
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An online school teacher provides educational support and assistance to online students. Online school is a term used to describe educational institutions offering courses over the Internet. The requirements to become an online teacher differ based on the subject, audience and certification being provided.

Online schools that are offering government managed educational programs must have teachers with the same qualifications as a brick and mortar school. Online school teachers for elementary and high school programs must have an undergraduate degree and a bachelor’s degree in education. The requirements for teachers differ in many states. The ones that are in effect for the state you are teaching in must count.

To become an online school teacher for programs aimed at adults, you must have an expert level of knowledge and an excellent understanding of the subject. Most schools require a bachelor's degree in a related field and traditional teaching experience. Additional certifications in adult education or online learning are beneficial.

Online schools that are providing a branded program must have teachers with the qualifications required by that program. The license that allows the online school to offer the program stipulates the educational requirements for the instructor. If there are any complaints, or issues surrounding this, the school may have their license revoked.

Education is a huge industry and provides billions of dollars in revenue to schools. Because of this, the competition for students is quite high. People are cautious when selecting an online school and check into the background of the online school teacher in much greater detail than they would for a traditional instructor. As a result, many online school teachers are actually overqualified for the material that they are teaching.

To become an online school teacher, there are three things that you must have: post secondary education, teaching experience and technological skills. Although the requirements may differ in detail, all online school teachers must have a senior level of education in their field.

Teaching experience is essential for an online school teacher. Obtain classroom experience by volunteering to teach at a local school. Offer short seminars on your subject. Presentation, public speaking and answering questions are all teaching skills that must be learned.

Online schools rely heavily on technology. You must be comfortable using course management software, recording and editing lectures, providing online notes and moderating student discussion boards. Time management is a critical sill when teaching and a quick turnaround on assignments and questions will greatly enhance your student’s enjoyment of your course.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By sneakers41 — On Sep 04, 2011

@Subway11 - I think that becoming a teacher is really about working in a classroom. You get the instant gratification from a child that finally understands something that you are teaching and somehow I don’t think that you would get the same results online.

It is a little bit harder because you can’t read the child facial expressions and the online set up seems a little cold to me. I know that a lot of people take college classes online, but that is different because adults are more independent and it fits their lifestyle better.

I don’t think that kids are that independent that they can take a series of classes online without the regular give and take in the classroom. I think that teachers that are drawn to this profession are probably not going to want to be tied to a computer at home. I think most would want to get to know their students face to face.

By subway11 — On Sep 03, 2011

The funding shortages in a lot of states have really created the need for online public schools. Allowing students the chance to take classes at home really saves the school district money.

I have looked at working for one of these schools and they usually require at least three years of actual teaching experience in classroom along with a teaching certificate and a Bachelor’s degree. These positions also require the teacher to be available from 9 to 5.

They also require a lot of communication with the students and their parents and I think it is a great fit for someone that has the credentials, but wants a change of scenery. Some people don’t like dealing with the office politics that you deal with while working in a school and this set up is ideal for that type of person.

I think that in Florida, the teachers hired for the Virtual School start off at $45,000 a year.

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