Insider tips for South African online teachers

4 min read   •   December 7, 2023
Louise Liebenberg

With the rise of online education, there has been a significant transformation to my daily routine as an online teacher compared to when I was teaching in person. Join me as I walk you through how my days are structured now, shedding light on the unique challenges and rewards of being an educator in the digital age. I’ll also provide some tips and tricks for other online teachers on how to be the best educator you can be.

MORNING RITUAL

05:30 – Rise and shine

My day begins early. After a good night’s sleep, I freshen up and prepare for the day. While my routine may lack the commute of a traditional teacher, it includes completing routine tasks in my home, such as feeding my dogs, making an energising breakfast, and putting a load of washing in the machine.

Teacher tip: Establish a morning routine that sets the tone for a productive day. Include a hearty breakfast in your routine to help you maintain your energy levels.

06:30 – Planning my day

Before class starts, I plan for the day ahead. I make my to-do list, check my emails, and review important announcements or updates from the Impaq Online School.

Teacher tip: Start your day a bit earlier to ensure you have time to make a to-do list and prioritise your tasks.

07:00 – Lesson planning

One of the most critical aspects of teaching is lesson planning. I spend most of my morning reviewing my lessons and ensuring I have developed an engaging and interactive lesson.

Teacher tip: Engage your learners by including multimedia presentations, quizzes and assignments tailored to your learners’ unique needs.

TEACHING AND OFFICE HOURS

08:00 to 13:00 – The virtual classroom

The heart of my day as an online teacher is the virtual classroom. This is where the magic happens! I guide my students through the day’s lessons, answer questions, and encourage class participation. The challenge here is ensuring that every student is engaged and understands the content, even without the physical presence of a classroom.

13:00 to 14:00 – Lunch break

A midday break is crucial for recharging. I use this time to prepare and eat a healthy meal, stretch, and take a short walk to refresh my mind.

Teacher tip: Take a midday respite to recharge. Online teaching can be mentally demanding, so self-care is essential.

14:00 to 15:00 – Office hours

Like traditional office hours, I’m available for my students during this time. I also dive into the stack of assignments and tests that need grading. Providing prompt and constructive feedback is vital for student growth. This task can be time-consuming, but it’s a rewarding part of the job as I witness my students’ progress.

Teacher tip: Make time to connect with your students, as a strong student-teacher relationship is key to a successful online classroom.

Also read: Creating a judgement-free zone at the Impaq Online School

15:00 to 16:00 – Professional development

Teaching is a constantly evolving profession. I dedicate some time in the afternoon to professional development, which may include webinars or collaborating with colleagues.

Teacher tip: Depending on your schedule, include time daily or weekly to stay updated with the latest teaching methodologies, technology, and educational trends.

EVENING WIND DOWN

17:00 – Some exercise, dinner, and family time

After a day of teaching and hours of sitting in a chair, I enjoy taking a long walk with my dogs. I connect with my husband, share stories, and enjoy a small, light dinner.

Teacher tip: A balanced work-life routine is crucial for maintaining wellbeing. Take time to unwind, get some fresh air, and relax.

18:00 to 20:30 – Me time

As the day comes to a close, I make sure to take some time for myself. This is MY time. I stretch out on the couch and watch my favourite soaps on TV.

LIGHTS OUT

21:00

By around 21:00, I’m ready to hit the hay, knowing that tomorrow will bring new challenges and opportunities to inspire and educate. Being an online teacher is not without its unique demands, but it’s a deeply fulfilling profession. Each day, I get the chance to make a difference in the lives of my students and contribute to the ever-evolving world of online education.

Also read: Being an online teacher in South Africa: Can I do it?

While my life looks quite different now that I’m teaching online, the passion, quality of education, and impact on students remain the same. If you’re considering a career in online education or you are simply curious about what it’s like, I hope this glimpse into my daily routine has provided some valuable insights.