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10 Teaching Skills You Need to Be a Great Online Teacher


If you’ve ever been a teacher or know someone who is, you’ll know it’s not easy to be a great teacher. But if you’re new to teaching, don’t let this scare you! There are so many transferable skills from any workplace that you can take with you into teaching. Or, if you don’t want to give up your current career, online teaching can be a fantastic side hustle or part-time job. 

After teaching online for almost a decade, I can say that these are 10 teaching skills you need to be a great online teacher. 

Online teacher working from home, using a laptop and headphones for a video call.

1. Adaptable to Student Needs 

Sometimes, your student will join your class, and within seconds, you realize that the material you’ve prepared is not going to work. This can be for several reasons. Perhaps the student’s level is above or below the grade levels you expected, or maybe the student has something urgent that needs to be addressed. This could be a variety of things like an upcoming interview, so they need help with a resume, or they will serve as a role model for a new intern arriving soon, and they want to practice what they’ll say to them. 

Try to gauge student understanding as quickly as possible so you know whether to continue as planned or adapt the lesson. I know firsthand that adaptability is a skill that doesn’t always come easily, so be easy on yourself and try to think of it as a positive challenge.

2. Patient 

My students have the opportunity to give me feedback on my teaching, and the feedback I receive the most is that I’m incredibly patient. This is one of the most important skills you can have not just as a teacher but in life. As a teacher, there are so many things that will frustrate you. Maybe the student just isn’t understanding your instructions, or perhaps there are technology issues. Whatever the case may be, you must remain patient and calm. 

Remember that it’s about teamwork. You and the student are working together to help them reach their learning goals. Try and think about it from their perspective. Consider how difficult it is to learn something new, and if you’re frustrated, they are probably even more upset with themselves for not getting it. Being patient