Sometimes, you'll find that your school pupils are unwilling or unable to use their microphones and cameras during a lesson. They may instead request to complete the lesson using just the chat function.
There are two main reasons why this occurs. First, some pupils lack the technology or internet quality to conduct a lesson effectively using their mic or camera. It may be better, therefore, for the pupil to stick to text chat.
Second, for some pupils 1-1 online tuition can be an intimidating thing. It may take a fair bit of courage just to launch the lesson in the first place, let alone speak or use video. Some of the pupils on our schools programme are vulnerable or anxious, and may prefer to use chat in your lessons with them. Schools will even occasionally ask us to a remove a pupil from the programme because he or she feels too nervous to learn 1-1.
So what should you do when a pupil won't use their mic or camera?
We understand that this is frustrating for you, as it may cause the pace of the lesson to move more slowly than usual. But this doesn't mean that you can't achieve some really positive progress anyway.
If your pupil or their school has a tech issue and simply cannot use video or microphone, we'll be sure to follow up with the school to try fix it. In the meantime, do your best to continue teaching the pupil with the resources you have available.
If your pupil requests to stick to text chat out of preference, try to be understanding and friendly with them; support them in whatever preference they have regarding learning style. This alone could make a massive difference for their self-confidence.
Second, try to build a good relationship with your pupil over the course of your lessons with them (if you've accepted a bulk slot). Over time, you may find that the pupil gains confidence and becomes more comfortable in your presence. Hopefully, the pupil will then start to engage fully with the technology.
Thank you for taking the time to give your learning and support to these pupils. Your effort is massively appreciated.