Obviously, I don’t have a choice right now, as my school is closed, like the two companies I regularly teach at. Hear me out, I am doing it right now, because we cannot do otherwise. But I am not interested into doing it more than necessary.
I am fully aware that online teaching is huge within the ELT industry, that it’s comfortable to work from home, that it’s way more convenient, whatever, I am not interested. I didn’t become a teacher so I would sit in front of a computer. It’s a very reductive image, I know there is way more than just sitting down and talking to a screen, but that’s how I feel when I’m teaching online right now.
How are you supposed to pass on your passion, your love for the language you have been teaching for years when you cannot even see the genuine reaction of your students? I didn’t become a teacher because I wanted an easy path, a hideout, a 9 to 5 job. I had one years ago, I worked in a competitive atmosphere, and I hated every minute of it. I am not the only one who decided to become a teacher (worse, an EFL teacher) despite all the difficulties we all know about. I am getting tired to hear that we are just lazy people, sitting on their asses, that we are complaining about this or that, and now, a whiny EFL teacher doesn’t want to teach online. Yeah, I don’t want to, sue me.
I need to be in a classroom, I need to share the experience with my students, I need to know them, I need to be able to decipher their body language to get them, I need to be able to adjust my speech. My students are my priority, always have, always will. Teaching online is taking away all these things, and I just can’t cope. Call me old fashioned, but I can’t wait to go back to school for real.
I have a Teams chat with my students though, and that’s the bright side of this entire story. We are keeping in touch lightly, without any pressure, they are free to answer when they want. Our relationship changed, probably for the best: they are less afraid, I would say, to ask for some advice, to participate, to get involved. At the end of the day, I am still working for them.