Young Learners online: parental briefing DOC

If you are teaching ESL to young learners, it is worth thinking about online discipline and behavior management. In my previous Young Learners post I mentioned the importance of sending a briefing document to parents before your first ESL lesson. Today I wanted to provide you with a copy of it. You can download our sample document here.
The document is quite ‘bare bones’ but it highlights the key points you should communicate to parents prior to your student’s first lesson. I’ve found that parents are reassured by the document and it places the parent-teacher relationship on a professional footing from its inception. Keep in mind that teaching young learners online is a new practice and this is likely to be your parent’s first experience with live online learning. I suggest to include the following:

  1. A statement that you take online security and safety very seriously.
  2. A statement that you plan to record classes.
  3. Your discipline policy and the actions you will take to manage negative behviours.
  4. Guidelines on the environment in which lessons should be taken.
  5. Recommendations on parent participation for the first online lesson.
  6. A request for the parent to discuss the lesson durationwith the young learner.
  7. Parental tips for after class, to consolidate and encourage further learning.
  8. A consent form (to be signed and returned).

Finally, you may want to comunicate with your young students via email. I recommend that you send a separate email to the parent and request permission to do this, requesting the specific student’s email address via which you will communiate. Offer to copy the parent on each email. My experience has been that all parents give persmission to communicate to their child via email, and almost everyone of them will thank you for sending the request.
I hope this document is a helpful template for all ESL teachers considering taking their young learners online. If you need more inspiration about teaching young learners online, read some of my previous posts on the subject! I’ve written young learner focused articles about increasing energy levels, discipline and group lessons.

About the author

James Heywood is an online ESL teacher and is the co-founder of TurksLearnEnglish and Off2Class. After years of teaching in language institutes and private schools, he made the leap to online in late 2012. He has taught a variety of ESL students online including young learners, adults and adolescents in one-on-one and group settings.


  • Godwin Vambe says:

    August 7, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Hello, Mr Heywood
    I ‘ve had course to read a few of your online learning materials and I ,must say,I was greatly inspired. As an ESL teacher, I crave to have more of it.
    Thank you so very much for a great work.

    • James Heywood (Off2Class) says:

      August 7, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      Hi Godwin,
      Thank you very much for such a positive comment. I can see that you have been using a lot of Off2Class lesson plans and it’s great to hear that you find them inspiring.
      We are producing new lessons as fast as we can so the library will continue to grow. We will soon release our lesson plans for teaching conditional sentences, so I’ll look forward to more feedback in the future.
      Best wishes,

  • Laura A. Ward says:

    October 31, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Thank you for this! At the moment, I am studying Oxford’s Teaching Business English class, but would actually prefer to work with kids. I will try to find time to explore more of your posts. I am just getting started with online teaching and am a bit intimidated. :).

    • James Heywood (Off2Class) says:

      October 31, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      Hi Laura,
      There’s no need to feel intimidated. About what? It’s easy. Just go for it!
      Best wishes,

  • Mary joy soria says:

    July 15, 2017 at 2:55 am

    I’m trying to set up an Online Tutorial business and found this site as very helpful. Thank you for this. But I am struggling where can I find students. How much do we actually charge them?
    I read that Paypal is good. How do we collect the payment?
    I don’t know how to start. I need help. Thank you.

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      July 16, 2017 at 10:31 am

      It’s fantastic that you want to jump into independent (I’m assuming online) ESL teaching!
      We’ve advised hundreds of teachers in your shoes on how to kick start their own independent teaching businesses. Finding students is probably your most important task when starting out and we’ve got ideas on how to get started.
      We offer a service called PRO, which allows independent teachers to brand the Off2Class platform. But more importantly for you, all PRO subscribers get immediate access to the Off2Class team for personal coaching sessions. This is probably the fastest way you’ll be able to get moving as an independent teacher!

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