August 21

Can I Teach Classes Online?

If you decide to teach online, the benefits can be significant ..

Freedom from your current hectic timetable, a level of workload you control, and a life where you impact others without having to work 50+ hour weeks.

In this post I want to explain why your classroom experience is EXACTLY what most online learners are crying out for .. and I want to give you a system which will help you to make a fast start as an Online Teacher.

In this post you will discover ..

Exactly why your classroom skills and experience are MUCH more valuable than you might have realised ..

5 ways most Online Teachers fail their students - and how you are ALREADY  well prepared to outperform, and outsell them.

And I want to give you my Online Teaching Startup System - which will test your ideas for commercial potential, BEFORE you spend any time creating anything.

Why I am Excited for You Right Now ..

Today we live in a very different world than the one I grew up in, and it offers dramatically different opportunities to educators like you.

In 1991 the internet started developing into the all-powerful tool that it is today.

The Information Revolution it spawned is changing lives across our connected world, every single day.

can a classroom teacher teach online

It promises equality of opportunity to knowledge - and the chance for every person alive to learn what they need to change their lives.

It also offers those with knowledge and skills to share, an unprecedented chance to publish this to a worldwide audience - without needing the support of publishing companies, or a single penny of investment from a bank.

These two things have changed the way knowledge and skills can be learned - and shared - in a way which would have been hard to imagine even a few decades ago.

The learning revolution we are currently living in, will be remembered alongside defining moments in history like the invention of writing to pass knowledge down the generations .. or when ordinary people became widely able to read the worlds knowledge in books.

As educators, we are extremely lucky to live at such an extraordinary time for learning.

And this revolution is changing ordinary people’s behaviour and aspirations too.

No longer are we satisfied with doing what we’ve always done.   We aspire to be more than who we are - and have the ability to change our lives in a way which was impossible to imagine before the internet.

Billions of people now feel empowered to have ambition and a desire to better themselves.

And as more and more people realise the power of self development, they are investing in online training to become the people they aspire to be.

Reuters recently reported the value of the market for online learning was worth in excess of $275 billion in 2017 - and rising.

This is a time of great opportunity for Online Teachers with knowledge to share.

Your Classroom Skills are EXACTLY What Online Learners Need!

Can I say clearly, that the skills we develop as classroom teachers is massively undervalued by society at large.

Learning helped our species evolve from apes into the modern human beings we are.  It is at the very heart of all human development.

And knowing how to teach what you know, is the ultimate transferable skill.

Don’t underestimate the power you have to change the world - or your own life - using the experience you have. 

Most ordinary people don’t realize how amazing you are.

But I want you to park your classroom job for a moment, take a deep breath - and imagine using this amazing skill you have - to do things slightly differently:

Imagine teaching a community of highly motivated students who can’t wait to learn from you - and who LOVE everything that you’re teaching them.

Imagine planning and delivering a lesson once, and then impacting thousands of learners over and over again (even while you sleep).

And imagine having the freedom to live your life focused on your family, your interests and your passions - while earning more than your current salary.

I want to show you how you can create these things in your life, starting with a simple Online Teaching ‘Passion Project’ which you can run alongside your job.

 And I am going to prove to you that you are ALREADY very well prepared for success, even if you’ve never published anything on the internet before.

Because your lifestyle (and bank balance) could be a whole lot better if you teach online.

But what does being an Online Teacher, really mean?

What is an Online Teacher?

An Online Teacher creates and sells learning online.​

Online Teachers can choose to teach ‘live’ - or record their lessons, which are downloaded or streamed to students computers over the internet.

An Online Teacher ..

  • Can choose exactly what they want to teach - and when.
  • Can earn an unlimited salary - working as much, or as little as they choose.
  • Can start teaching online while still working a classroom job - earning an additional wage to spend on holidays, family, interests or early retirement.
  • Can make Online Teaching their only job, if and when they choose to.
  • Can create a learning experience, course or lesson once - and then deliver that over and over again to many new students.
  • Can respond to the needs of their students - without worrying about requirements dictated by school boards or government.
  • DOES NOT need advanced I.T. skills or expensive software. (Most classroom teachers already have the computer skills they need).
  • DOES NOT need to be a sales genius to earn a surprising amount of money - working only a few hours a day.

An Online Teacher has the freedom to spend their time as they choose - without being tied to a timetable.  And they can work from anywhere - their home, a coffee shop .. or the beach.

Because of this freedom, they have the chance to live a healthier, happier life - and focus on the things they love.

And if you have classroom teaching experience, then you are massively well prepared to succeed.

Let me explain why:

The BIGGEST Problem with Online Teaching Today ..

Can I share with you the biggest problem with most learning online today?

The people teaching, don’t know how learning works!

They have knowledge to share, and good intentions - but don’t understand how to structure or present information so their learners make real progress.

They don’t know how to teach. 

As a result, the vast majority of online courses have a typical completion rate of less than 5% .. and very few people get real results from their teaching.

Learners either get disaffected part way through and don’t complete what they cared enough to pay for - or they struggle to implement what they learn.

As children, we all had a teacher who had incredible subject knowledge but didn’t know how to communicate it .. do you remember yours?

It feels like most online learning is produced by THAT TEACHER!

Right now as you sit there, you have a natural advantage over 95% of people currently producing online learning today.

Because as any classroom teacher will tell you - people aren’t born with the ability to teach.

We learned the skills we have through sometimes painful and frequently embarrassing experience!

This is the point - most online teachers don’t have that experience.

They lack the direct contact you’ve had with learners, and the ability to learn from what works and what doesn’t.

Most online teachers use what I know as a ‘chalk and talk’ strategy - they expect learners to absorb what they say, and get results from listening alone.

You and I know that this doesn’t work in a classroom of young people .. but aren’t older learners different?


In fact the average online learner is much more like a hyperactive child than they realize!

Like a child, they have A LOT going on in their heads while they are supposed to be learning:

- The fridge is calling them .. the box set they are half way through .. the chores ..

- Their social media friends .. their mobile phone .. the next thing they want to buy ..

- Their minds are constantly giving them ideas that are NOTHING to do with what they are learning at all.

And yet, when many Online Teachers create learning, they make something which is so one dimensional that it becomes a challenge to complete - let alone get real world results from.

Your classroom experience immediately puts you in a very select group of people who can create learning which works.

.. let me prove it to you.

The 5 Truth's of Effective Online Teaching

Let me take you on a whistle-stop tour of the problems with online learning today.

This section has been adapted from a book I am writing to help non-teachers realise the problems with most of the online courses they have produced.

I do this by asking them to reflect on their own experience as a learner - to help them realize where they have been going wrong. 

I want you to notice the basic nature of the advice I am offering to them here - and how you have already learned ALL of these things in your classroom.

Are you ready for the first piece of (rather simple) advice?

Q1. Have you ever started learning something and then quickly felt OVERWHELMED with the amount you have to do?

The effect of providing too much information too quickly in an online course, is that the learner believes the problem they have is bigger than they thought!

In a world where the combined knowledge of millions is a click away, learners don’t value more - they actually want LESS!

And yet, most online teachers try and cram ‘more’ into what they sell. 

A learner doesn’t want or need more - in fact, they are confused and discouraged by it.

Truth 1. “Chunk it Down”

Start thinking about learning in smaller chunks than you ever have before.

Sequence these chunks so they make sense, and feed them slowly to your learner – giving them the chance to chew each one until they can digest it

So far so simple, right?  

To you and me it’s not rocket science - but most people teaching online don’t understand learning.  They are making the same mistakes we made as trainees.

Are you ready for question 2? .. I think you'll like this one:

Q2. Have you ever found it difficult to MOTIVATE yourself to finish a course – even though you are desperate for the result it promises?

Often when this happens online learners blame themselves – if they really cared, then WHY can’t they finish what they started?

There must be something wrong with them, right? ..


In a classroom, teaching has to motivate the learner and keep them going.

Most Online Courses simply don’t bother doing this.

Truth 2. “Make learning fun & reward progress”

You can’t leave the job of motivation to your learner when teaching online – most won’t manage it long enough to complete your course.

You need to keep them interested in what they are doing – and motivate them to make progress.

The BEST way to do this is providing a series of little ‘wins’ – significant points where they feel they have accomplished something.

I know - it's basic - and yet most online learning experiences don't do this.

I have experienced MANY online courses and live classes, which require learners to sit through endless repetitive instructions - without ANY activity, application, examples or reflective questioning.

It is not surprising that over 95% of online learners switch off and give up.

And the surprising fact is that most people learning online give up REALLY quickly - which brings us to Truth number 3:

Truth 3. “First Impressions Matter”

And the MOST important place to give online learners those little wins?

The first 20 minutes!

We LOVE a learning experience often because we get hooked by something at the start of our journey.

To increase your online course completion rates, you HAVE to nail the ‘first bit’ and make a good impression on the learner.

Is this reminding you of a class of children at all? .. 😉

We realize the importance of an unexpected, surprising or interesting start to a lesson ..

And we know (very well!) what happens when we DON’T give students a reason to want to listen and engage! ..

Online learners need that too (although their reaction when bored isn't going to drive you as mad!)

It's time to go into deep water .. with Question 3:

​Q3. Have you ever been through a course, understood everything – and then struggled to APPLY the knowledge you have?

For many people learning online there is a gap between what they learn, and applying this to get real world results.

It often feels like you know what to do – but you don’t know where to begin, or what to do next.

Truth 4. “Understanding WHY Matters”

Learners need to understand WHY they are doing things - to be able to apply what they learn.

Knowing WHY is essential to use knowledge independently, after an online teacher has let go of their hand – and they're out in the real world.

Too often, in the rush to show someone exactly WHAT to do, the WHY is forgotten or considered not necessary.

As classroom teachers - we are very used to explaining WHY everything matters!

We understand that life doesn’t stay the same - variables in our learners lives will change, and they will have to apply what they’ve have learned in these new situations.

And yet, most online teachers focus solely on helping their learners do something NOW – and don’t realise the importance of helping them use their knowledge to improvise in the future.

They don’t teach transferable skills.


Is it dawning on you, the advantage you have over the VAST majority of people currently earning generous incomes selling this stuff?

Ok, it's time to really test yourself with Question 4 ..

​​Q4. Have you ever heard lots of great things about a course – but found it difficult to understand, or ‘get’ it yourself?

You might think you’re not good at something, simply because it hasn’t been explained in a way your brain can easily understand.

Many people carry these perceptions from school all through their life.

It’s often not your fault – and it happens because we are all different.

Too often course designers design their learning experience for only one or two types of learner – and those who need things explaining differently, get left out.

Truth 5. “Learners are NOT all the Same”

This is, of course, a beginners guide to differentiation - I won’t print what I explained here, as it would be so patronizing you probably wouldn’t survive the experience!

But this has to be the one area where online learning MOST needs to grow up. It treats everyone the same - with zero differentiation and with no thought for individual learning styles.

As a result, explanations can hit or miss .. and many learners feel like failures because their individual needs aren’t being met.

You and I know there are many ways to provide a varied experience that speaks to a wider variety of different learners.  The vast majority of online learning has yet to realise this.

Can a Classroom Teacher Teach Online? .. Yes!

“Well done”   .. he says, in his most patronizing voice 😉

You have now graduated from ‘teach grandma to suck eggs - semester one’

I suspect the only surprise I have managed to spring is the realization that most online teachers have serious problems in the way they deliver learning!

And if you’ve ever sat through an online learning experience yourself - you will recognize that most (or likely all) of the above, were sadly missing from the experience.

(Yes, it really is that bad out there).

So, Where Does that Leave YOU?

The purpose of this post was to shake the tree, and help you to realise just how AMAZING you are.

You have an understanding most people currently earning a comfortable (and in some cases ridiculous) income teaching online, simply don’t have.

You have a HUGE advantage over almost every single one of them, before you even begin!

In truth, if you were to deliver a truly effective learning experience to most online learners - using the experience you have ..

.. they would think you were some kind of magician!

You would immediately stand out a mile.

That’s my experience of teaching online, and the reason why so many of my learners come back to buy everything I produce.

What you might not have realised, is that because your learning products will be superior - you have a serious commercial advantage too.

To find out exactly what you need to do to make the most of this advantage - read 'The Classroom Teachers Guide to Teaching Online'

It's my best advice for classroom teachers looking for where to begin.

If this resonates with you, please share it ...

About the author 

James Anthony

After teaching for 20 years in the UK, I now help Schools, Universities, and Entrepreneurs to create and deliver transformational online learning.
I also work with educators across the world helping them use their skills in new ways - to live happier healthier lives.


edchat, teacher, teachercpd

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