So you’ve applied and been accepted to teach on Outschool. Congratulations and welcome!
Maybe you’re energized to take the next steps toward teaching, or perhaps you feel overwhelmed about how to put all the pieces together to successfully lead your first class. Wherever you’re at in your online teaching journey, we’re here to help you jumpstart your Outschool business and start teaching more of what you love.
Once you log into your Educator Dashboard, you’ll have the opportunity to complete several introductory video modules that go over everything you need to know to protect learner privacy and keep your virtual classroom secure. You’ll also get an overview of our class content policies and how to set yourself up for success when submitting class listings for review.
After that, the rest of the process can be divided into three general steps. We’ll walk through each one to help you easily visualize the whole process and move through it yourself.
1. Create your educator profile
Your educator profile is where you tell learners and families who you are as an educator. You have four ways to convey your unique brand or individual story.
✔ Your photo. This should be a recent photo of you that shows your head and shoulders. Make sure the background is simple and professional. Choose a picture where you’re smiling so that families and learners see your enthusiasm!
✔ Your “About me” section. Write one to three paragraphs describing your teaching expertise, your passion for the topics you will be teaching, and your teaching philosophy. Include keywords so that families who are searching for educators like you will find you quickly.
✔ A video (optional, but recommended). Introduce yourself and highlight your teaching interests and background (get more tips here). Families may watch your video to see your teaching style and philosophy and decide whether you are a good fit for their child, so plan what you want to say and spend some time practicing your message. Organize your environment so you have an engaging but simple background, lighting that illuminates your face, and a noise-free recording area. Then record your video using your smartphone or a computer webcam.
✔ Name and headline. Make your teaching name a variation of your legal name. Then choose one phrase (your headline) to put under your teaching name. Maybe it’s “Hip Hop and Tap Dance Instructor” or “History Rocks!” Use words that help families quickly understand what you teach.
2. Learn about effective online teaching
If you’re new to online teaching, make time to learn effective practices for a successful online class.
Zoom and the Outschool classroom
At the top of the list is learning Zoom thoroughly, including classroom management features, such as how to disable name-changing and how to screen share. Get to know the ins and outs of your virtual Outschool classroom and its features, including private learner notes where you can jot down notes about learners and messaging tools that allow you to communicate with families.
Connection and interaction
Many of the intrinsic benefits of teaching — for example, connecting with learners and engaging them to spark learning — can be present in the virtual teaching environment. It’s helpful to learn some tools and techniques to build those connections and provide interactive lessons online. A strong connection with an educator is something that families are seeking and can be a major factor when they’re deciding whether to take more classes from you.
Become familiar with Outschool’s policies, which cover topics like when learners can turn off their cameras, class cancellations, and class refunds. The good news is that the Outschool Help Center and Educator Library are helpful resources if you’re uncertain about procedures and need to look them up.
3. Prepare your first class
What will you teach on Outschool? You outlined potential topics in your application, so now it’s a matter of narrowing in on exactly what you want to teach in your first class. You’ll need to get your first class reviewed and published before you can list any others.
Creating a one-time class is recommended for your first class, but think strategically from the start about how you’ll grow your classes. As soon as you have a first batch of learners, you have the opportunity to show them more classes that may interest them. One approach is to start a class funnel where a one-time class leads to ongoing classes or a class on beginning skills progresses to others teaching more advanced ones.
Develop a lesson plan
Once you’ve decided on the specific topic for your first class, plan your class curriculum. Think about ways to bring in multiple perspectives and to accommodate different learning styles and needs. Develop three to five learning goals and center your lesson plan around these.
Decide what activities to include to make the class interactive and to support your learning goals, as well as how you’ll greet learners, what behavior expectations to set, and how you’ll start and end the class.
Create a class listing
It’s time to create your class listing on Outschool! Elements you’ll need to include are:
- The class title, summary, and description
- A class image
- A class video (optional)
- The age range of learners
- The length of your class
- Class size
- Any materials needed
- Parental guidance (outlining any sensitive content or use of external technology tools approved by Outschool)
→ Check out this class listings article for guidance for developing each section of the listing.
Align your class listing with your teacher expertise to begin creating your unique brand. The written portion of your class profile is another opportunity to use specific keywords for search engine optimization, or SEO. This will help families searching for classes on your topic to find you.
Request your class be published
You’re almost there! Once your class listing is complete, it’s time to request listing or review by an Outschool team. If your class is returned to you for changes, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great fit for Outschool. It may just need a few adjustments to meet our listing standards.
After your class is approved, you can create multiple sections at different times and learners can start to enroll!
Start your teaching business
You may be thinking that this was a lot of work to list your first class, but starting a new business venture is often demanding. As you become more familiar with the Outschool platform and accustomed to teaching on it, you should be able to spend more time on teaching and on growing your business.
Outschool has many resources to help you get started, from live learning opportunities for new educators and class listing workshops (all found on the Event Calendar) to a new educator group on Facebook where you can find support.