To be the premier online preschool you must learn how to add value to your preschool. Always ask yourself the question, “What can I add?”
This post is filled with tips and resources from online preschool owner Deborah Browning that will help you answer that question for your online preschool.
1. Small Class Sizes Will Make You Stand Out
In a local preschool setting it might be common to teach a class full of twelve students, but in a virtual setting, on a Zoom screen, managing that many students at once is challenging. Parents love knowing their child is getting individual attention. Children love hearing you call their name and letting them show what they know. A class size of 5-6 students is ideal for this setting.
Consider what kind of teacher you want to be. What do you envision your classes looking like? Sounding like? Feeling like? What level can you commit to reaching? Think about these questions before you start your online preschool and create that kind of classroom.
2. Aim For Quality Interaction With Each Student
Use student’s names. Include each of them in each lesson. Listen to them. Notice when they mention things like they get to see their dad this weekend. Children struggle with things just like adults do and it will be so valuable for them to have a trusted adult to hear them, encourage them, and comfort them when needed.
You may not be able to give actual high fives or real hugs in a virtual classroom setting, but you can do the actions so the child can see them on the screen. You can ask them how their weekend visit went. You can watch and listen for when they may be feeling upset about something and send them a special note of encouragement.
Always remember each child’s birthday. (Don’t worry, when you do calendar time, they’ll remind you!) Send them a special email with a note in the subject line that says, “This message is for Johnny.” Use a bitmoji to make a fun cartoon image of yourself to include as a card.
3. Learn The Best Teaching Practices And Practice Them In Your Online Preschool Classes
Children have a difficult time focusing on more than one thing at a time. When you teach concepts like letters, numbers, colors, and shapes show them one thing at a time. Instead of the flash card with a green frog, show them a flash card that is just the color green. Give them just one thing to focus on.
This and other developmentally appropriate practices are crucial for your online preschool business. Your goal, after all, is to actively seek after the best ways to educate children.
4. Add Value! Add Value! Add Value!
When you tell your preschool parents that in addition to the preschool classes, you also offer other free resources, they will gladly pay your premium prices. This chart shows several resources available for preschool teachers and what they offer.
|Teachers Pay Teachers||Free & paid (varies)||Flashcards, posters, teaching aids, curriculum, much more|
|Education.com||Free (basic membership)||Worksheets emailed to parents for printing|
|Free||Activity ideas, information, resources, references|
|Free||Ideas! Ideas! Ideas!|
|ABC Mouse||Free with Educator Membership||Digital homework assignments|
|PDF of Sight Words||Free (make yourself)||To reinforce learning with a printed or digital list of sight words|
|Bitmoji||Free||Sending fun messages|
|YouTube||Free||Videos! About every topic imaginable|
|Reading A-Z||$80/year||Guided Readers (ebooks)|
5. Assign Homework To Your Students
Use Education.com to find worksheets that can be emailed to your parents for printing out at home. Through ABC Mouse you can assign homework to your students. At the end of class tell them what a great job they did, then remind them to go do their homework on ABC Mouse. The children will be excited to do the work and the parents will gain an extra half hour of free time. Win! Win!
There are many, many resources available. These tips and resources are excellent to use as a “value-add” to your online preschool.