Want to Be Successful? Start Coaching Students.
Andrew is a New York based choreographer. He has done numerous successful shows and runs a popular dance academy that has local students thronging for enrollment round the year. Some years ago Andrew started getting restless at his profession. He felt there was something missing.
During his search for something to add zest to his work profile, Andrew came across an online coaching site where you could teach anything of your choice. Anything. As long as you had at least one student enrolled!!
After much soul searching, Andrew decided to give dance therapy lessons on the site. He signed up on the site and created his curriculum that was a healthy mix of classroom teaching, reading materials and his own videos. After a couple of months he had his first student and after that there has been no looking back.
Andrew says, “I find teaching dance therapy therapeutic for myself. I have people from all walks of life and from all parts of world enrolled in my class. Some want to become dance therapists, some want to learn Zen of dancing, and some just want to achieve peace through dancing, the highest form of art.”
Whether you are into conventional professions like IT, marketing and real estate or more offbeat ones like image consulting or dance therapy, you should take to coaching students to grow yourself professionally. Because a true professional is a learner at every step of his career.
Aristotle said, “Teaching is the Highest Form of Learning.”
If you can teach a concept to someone else successfully, that shows your complete grasp over it.
If you want to start teaching, e-coaching is a better way to go rather than the conventional classroom teaching.
With the advent of e-learning at the beginning of the millennium in form of ebooks, CDs and virtual classrooms, e-coaching has caught on in a big way. Past 3-4 years have been great for e-learning scenario technically. There have been plethora of innovative developments starting from new learning management platforms and embedded learning devices to social learning, mobile technology and gaming principles.
You don’t need to know about the technological aspects of online teaching in depth, but it is good to get some idea about the latest trends, so that you can utilize them to your benefit.
Traditional e-learning classes were one-way communication where teacher taught and students learnt. Not so any more.
Gaming principles have caught the fancy of e-learning professional to increase interactivity and class stimulation. And not without reason. The main aspects of gaming, like scoring points, progressing through the game in successive levels of increasing complexity, challenges, competition, instant rewards, etc. can be integrated while developing the courses.
Be it corporate training or typical student-teacher interaction, gamification has enhanced impact, and hence popularity, of e-learning manifold.
In e-learning, big data is the data generated by learners while taking a training module. It includes information like learner progress, assessment results, social sharing patterns, time taken to complete each module, etc. for each learner. The information is usually gathered through LMS, authoring tools, multimedia, social sharing tools, etc.
Analytics allows e-learning professionals to pinpoint the modules that were visited the most, took maximum time in completion, shared on social media the most etc. With the use of analytics (big data is nothing without analytics) there is no time lag between data gathering and analysis. This enables content creators to start fine tuning their deliverables as well as delivering strategy in real time.
2016 is going to be the year of personalised coaching. Be it 1-on-1 or 1-to-many coaching scenario, gaming principles applied to big data will enable trainers to cater to individual needs like never before.
e-learning industry is already seeing application of big data and analytics in e-learning domain in a big way. Using information patterns gathered for each learner, tests and further modules can be tweaked as per individual’s grasp of concepts already taught. This would not only bring about positive engagement but also increase effectiveness of the training programs.
Like Andrew you can choose to coach on a topic related to your profession or something you care about deeply. And leveraging online coaching platforms, you can put lack of teaching experience to your advantage.
Having conducted classroom sessions as well as online ones, I can safely say these are the advantages of teaching online:
You don’t need to possess teachers’ aura
In a classroom environment you need to control the class and establish your personality before getting on to actual teaching. This is what holds back most people from taking on teaching. Not so in an online class. You are not facing the students literally. You just log on to your online platform and start teaching. The interaction is more informal, and hence manageable.
You get a distraction free environment
Contrary to a typical class where there are lots of distractions like continuous noise, unwarranted movement, physical interruptions, etc., here you can have complete silence. All you need to do is inform the students and then switch off the incoming audio. This proves to be a boon when you want to teach any concept without being interrupted. Later you can have the interactive session to discuss the concepts taught.
You can give every student equal chance
In a typical classroom environment, if you ask a question, the first correct answer puts an end to the discussion. You never get to know if others knew the same answer or not. In an e-coaching environment, you can use polls or quizzes for the same and gauge the knowledge level of each student for the same question.
You get access to global mix of students
Online has brought the world in line. Mix of students from every corner of the world enroll in your class, which takes dynamism of your class to the next level. You, in turn, and the class as a whole learn a lot from each other besides the intended curriculum.
You can teach a subject of your choice
Offbeat career choices are the trend now. So much so that they might not remain offbeat a couple years down the line. So if you are already in a non-traditional career, like dance therapy, chocolate making, bartending, image consulting, or event planning, you should think of taking up online teaching.
Even if people around you raise an eyebrow when you tell them about your profession, online you will get lots of people interested to learn it from you.
You must have heard these oft repeated statements in favour of teaching...
Teaching is the noblest of all professions.
A teacher shapes the future of the country.
A teacher gives wings to a student’s dreams.
Teaching gives immense satisfaction.
Now let me tell you the real reason you should teach on the side, without quitting or cutting back on your current job commitments!!
You challenge yourself every day, every moment.
You keep learning as you teach.
You get a thrill out of solving problems posed by your students. Problems that had never crossed your mind before.
You can apply your learning to solve problems in your career.
You need not teach what your chosen profession is. You can teach a subject close to your heart.
Whether you are looking to grow professionally, expand your horizons and add skills to your repertory or check out side gigs, online coaching is the way to go. If you have ever felt that you could explain something better, be it in a meeting, an informal gathering or a group of students struggling with assignments, you can easily take to coaching other.
Don’t deprive the world of a viewpoint that could resonate with so many others and start you on a journey of self-exploration and discovery.