Breaking Into Online InstructionCarlos Sutton | Ambassador, Capella University
From my understanding, online learning institutions are seeking individuals who already have some type of experience when they send out job opening information. This fact makes breaking into online teaching quite a challenge. In my case, I taught adults well over a decade ago in an alternative setting as a GED instructor who rarely had to use a computer in those days. Yet, as I seek online employment today, I notice that understanding of the online format is a must. Getting your resume to the top of the list is best accomplished by highlighting recent accomplishments. Yet, despite over a decade of computer training and increased computer skills, I have found that the challenge of breaking into online teaching still prevails.
As a way to increase my hiring potential, I have increased my involvement in working heavily with adults, particularly with instructing them as a way of adding experience, since I mainly teach middle school. I really think that this will make the biggest difference as I continue to look for positions. Some of my adult level instruction has been formal and informal. Some of my instruction has been at the local school level, at the county level and even at the state level, but this alone is apparently just touching the surface of what educators need to do to break into online education. Thus, I have even attempted course creation within my school system, but the only difference is when creating courses for teachers (particularly those who do not have to pay), there has to be an interest or the courses will never make their way off the ground.
With this in mind, networking opportunities are also vital. I have attended several alumni meetings for the different schools that I have attended with the hope of networking with the right individuals. I have met a lot of nice people who already have great jobs in higher education, but time constraints, the workload of those individuals, and the lack of positions continue to keep me on the search for that right situation. Adjunct and part-time positions are just as challenging to find as full time positions. Thus, I continue my journey with a positive outlook with the hope that someone will see something special in me.
Author Perspective: Educator