Back-Ups Are An Online Teachers Best Bud

When you are an independent contractor and your job requires you to be online it’s more than worth it to invest in a backup for unexpected power outages! This is especially important for teachers who work early mornings or late nights when natural lighting is limited and public spaces with wifi are closed. I mean, without power, you can't work and if you can't work you won't get paid, therefore, It definitely pays to be prepared!

Wifi and proper lighting are critical to an online teacher's success and contribute to a student's overall experience in the classroom. Have you ever video called someone and the audio or video kept freezing? It's darn near impossible to have a conversation let alone learn something. Or, have you ever been in a meeting and the dark shadows cascading against your coworker's face left you with an eerie impression? Well, these factors have the same detrimental effect in the online classroom. Of course, we cannot control storms passing through or the occasional tree falling on a powerline, but what we can put into place is a plan of how we'll respond to these events when they inevitably occur.

Wifi Back-ups:

1. Invest in a hotspot for WiFi emergencies. You can include a hotspot in your cell phone plan or you can purchase a portable hotspot that is separate from a phone plan.

2. If you are abroad, consider purchasing a SIM card that will allow you to activate a hotspot. Keep track of how much data you use throughout the SIM card's life so you can recharge when necessary.

Remember, Your Teaching Devices Battery Life is not as Long as Yours:

1. Keep your laptop plugged in while working so if the power goes out you are still juiced up.

2. If you are living/traveling with a spouse, family member, or friend, ask if they wouldn't mind if you borrow their laptop or iPad in the event of a power outage (if they have a device). Make sure you already have your teaching apps downloaded on the second device/ have your login information memorized to ensure a smooth transition.

3. If you have the means, consider investing in a backup laptop, desktop or iPad.

Lighting Back-ups:

1. Even if you are sitting in a dark, powerless room, a small ring light can illuminate your face. You can invest in a battery-operated ring light or a ring light that plugs into your computer so that it will keep working even when the power is out.

2. Position yourself as close as you can to a window or another form of natural lighting. If the sun is up and the weather is nice this will offer you some additional lighting even with the power is out.

Damage Control:

1. Like I said earlier, we have no control over the weather or powerlines going down. What we can control is how we react to the situation. Even with a plan in place, you may end up missing a class or having to cancel due to the circumstances. In most situations, parents will understand! Send them a message or include a note in feedback to explain the situation. Often times they will forgive a bad lighting situation or a blip with the internet if they know you were dealing with a power outage.

Losing power when your job requires you to be online can be a stressful situation but creating a plan for yourself and having a backup will make you feel more at ease and prepared when the situation occurs!

Happy Teaching Friends! Feel free to comment below on the tips and tricks you rely on during power outages!

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