The first step in securing an online teaching job is, well, deciding you want to teach online. It can be tricky to find these types of roles, so why waste time searching if you’re not sure remote work is right for you? I have a number of friends and former colleagues who can’t quite decide if they want to give up the face-to-face camaraderie of coworkers. So, I always try to clear up any misconceptions about online work. Here are some common myths about teaching online:
Myth #1: “It will be lonely.”
Think about a friend you haven’t seen in six months, but you talk weekly, know what’s going on in each other’s lives, and “like” each other’s Facebook posts at least twice a week. Just because working remotely means less face-to-face interaction, you will still interact virtually. This includes email, instant messaging, phone, video chat, and webinars. While every institution is different, I feel like I have more opportunities to communicate with my remote colleagues than I ever did in brick-and-mortar schools or clinical settings.
Myth #2: “I won’t have a lot of support.”
Just as you can communicate easily with colleagues, managers are typically only an email or phone call away. You might even find that you’re more comfortable speaking up and asking for help in a remote setting. You know that feeling when your boss seems to be out of their office all day or inside with the door shut for around-the-clock meetings? Imagine if you could let them know you have a quick question via Skype. Of course, management practices differ between organizations, but having access to various communication tools is definitely a perk of online teaching.
Myth #3: “I might get bored.”
You might get bored at any job, but I believe online teaching offers a lower risk of job-boredom than other employment settings. Online institutions are heavily reliant on technology, and technology is always changing. For some change-fearing employees, that’s a scary thought. But if you embrace technology and need change to keep things interesting, an online job might be perfect for you!
Are there legitimate reasons not to pursue online teaching? Sure. If you’re not self-motivated, you may find it hard to manage your time and stick to a regular schedule. While support is just a click away in a virtual setting, evaluation and feedback may occur at less frequent intervals. For anyone with a micromanagement allergy (reaction: anxiety, feeling of suffocation), this is great news. But if you require feedback on a regular basis, an online job may leave you feeling insecure.
So, have you decided you want to teach nursing courses online? Stay tuned for How to Get an Online Teaching Job: Part Two.