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I am in my early 70's and licensed to teach 8-12 math in Texas. I have an advanced degree in the same area. I used to teach in high school decades ago but have since quit because the student's disruptive behavior was just too stressful for me. It literally left a mental scar on me. Now I am semi-retired and working as an adjunct instructor at local colleges. Recently I got in touch with a company in Austin, TX, about teaching virtually via video conferencing. This company uses Zoom video to deliver a teacher live and remotely to a class, with a teacher aid physically present in the classroom to manage the classroom.

Did you have experience working as a virtual teacher before? Specifically I would like to know this: How stressful is it to teach in this video format with respect to classroom management? Please disregard any other stressors such as lower pay rate and workload.

It is my observation that, rightly or wrongly, I will be responsible only to ensure that my teaching is engaging to capture students' full attention. But the bulk of classroom management should be on the facilitator since I am not physically present in the classroom. Any practical advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you for your time.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't have any experience with this, but it sounds like it would still be very hard. (The kids are not likely to listen well, nor to engage fully.) $\endgroup$
    – Sue VanHattum
    Sep 2, 2023 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ The important part is "ensure that my teaching is engaging to capture students' full attention." in zoom you also have to answer questions and can and should ask students. I don't think the will not give you a lot of attention. But of cause one should know, what kind of students you will have. $\endgroup$
    – trula
    Sep 2, 2023 at 18:03
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    $\begingroup$ One thing I would ask upfront: What experience does the in-person teacher aid have with this model (or any, for that matter)? Presumably, you'll be interfacing with them on the regular, so knowing what your colleague will bring to the table sounds pretty important. Can you ask the company this? $\endgroup$
    – Nick C
    Sep 2, 2023 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ @NickC Thanks for your input. All I know about the in-person teacher aid is that he/she is not a licensed person, may even has only HS diploma. He/she is generally hired by the school and not by the Austin company. Thank you again for your input. $\endgroup$
    – A.Magnus
    Sep 3, 2023 at 0:38

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I have no experience, but I believe it to be extremely stressful and even a bad way of teaching:

  • As a teacher, you don't focus anymore on an entire region (left, right, in front, in the back of the class, ...) but everything happens on an area of $±30\cdot40cm^2$, which is more or less the size of your computer screen.
  • You don't catch the atmosphere in the classroom anymore: in a real class sometimes you just feel that the class is not paying attention anymore and you can decide to speak of something else (some fun you had recently) just in order to get their focus again.
  • It's a pure waste of human resources: you'll be at home,the students will be inside a classroom, but some other adult will need to be present there too in order to maintain order (don't forget, you're dealing with minor people). So two people need to be paid for doing the work of one.
  • How many times doesn't it happen that a student is afraid of asking a question, because of his or her reputation? When you're present in the class, you can see a student frowning, giving you the opportunity to act upon it. No way you'll see this on your screen. Also, there are the whispers when somebody asks a question, giving you useful information on who is cooperative or just the contrary.
  • ...

Remote teaching is a possibility when dealing with motivated adults, but while dealing with minor people, it's pure rubbish!

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    $\begingroup$ Agreed about the deficiencies of this approach (I've even experienced this as a student with very poor results in the classroom) -- But the bullet of "waste of human resources" is unfounded. Ipso facto the company thinks it's profitable. And it's easy to see that casting a wide net for any out-of-work teachers in a large state, at a "lower pay rate" (per OP), plus minimum-wage in-class assistant, would add up to less than a certified teacher living in Austin proper. $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2023 at 14:32
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    $\begingroup$ @DanielR.Collins Thank you for Dominique and Daniel for making comments. $\endgroup$
    – A.Magnus
    Sep 7, 2023 at 14:48

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