If you are teaching ESL to young learners, it is worth thinking about online discipline and behavior management. In my previous Young Learners post I mentioned the importance of sending a briefing document to parents before your first ESL lesson. Today I wanted to provide you with a copy of it. You can download our sample document here.
The document is quite ‘bare bones’ but it highlights the key points you should communicate to parents prior to your student’s first lesson. I’ve found that parents are reassured by the document and it places the parent-teacher relationship on a professional footing from its inception. Keep in mind that teaching young learners online is a new practice and this is likely to be your parent’s first experience with live online learning. I suggest to include the following:
- A statement that you take online security and safety very seriously.
- A statement that you plan to record classes.
- Your discipline policy and the actions you will take to manage negative behviours.
- Guidelines on the environment in which lessons should be taken.
- Recommendations on parent participation for the first online lesson.
- A request for the parent to discuss the lesson durationwith the young learner.
- Parental tips for after class, to consolidate and encourage further learning.
- A consent form (to be signed and returned).
Finally, you may want to comunicate with your young students via email. I recommend that you send a separate email to the parent and request permission to do this, requesting the specific student’s email address via which you will communiate. Offer to copy the parent on each email. My experience has been that all parents give persmission to communicate to their child via email, and almost everyone of them will thank you for sending the request.
I hope this document is a helpful template for all ESL teachers considering taking their young learners online. If you need more inspiration about teaching young learners online, read some of my previous posts on the subject! I’ve written young learner focused articles about increasing energy levels, discipline and group lessons.
About the author
James Heywood is an online ESL teacher and is the co-founder of TurksLearnEnglish and Off2Class. After years of teaching in language institutes and private schools, he made the leap to online in late 2012. He has taught a variety of ESL students online including young learners, adults and adolescents in one-on-one and group settings.