Esther Ciganda

Mar 23, 2022

Use the simple T.E.A.C.H process to overcome mistakes as a newbie course creator

If you want to be a successful course creator, stop teaching like the teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

I’ve been teaching since I was a little girl. I first taught my brother English at home for fun and then Chemistry at University as a lab T.A. Then one month before graduating in Pre-med with a B.S. in Biology, I changed my mind to go back and get my teaching degree. Fast forward to today. It’s my 24th year of teaching in the classroom and my 7th teaching online.  

And guess what? You don’t need a teaching degree to be effective, but every 1st-year teacher needs a few pointers to get started.

Here’s where I come in to help. Remember the acronym T.E.A.C.H.


Tech is part of the online scene. Big news, right?

If you’re techy like me then you’ll want to test-drive all kinds of new tools. Test them on yourself first not on your students. Be prepared to have students who know next to nothing about online learning!

My recommendation is to keep the tech you use simple! Or K.I.S.S. as some use (Keep it stupid simple).


How do you want to be known? As the sage on the stage or the guide on the side?

Personally, I’m a guide working side by side with my students and learning from them as well. So, online courses shouldn’t be one-sided lectures or presentations! Students need to be actively engaged to learn and feel that their time was well spent.

If you’re teaching a live course, watch out for the "eager beavers":  Students who want to dominate and are more vocal. As the facilitator, make sure you give everyone an opportunity to take part.


How do you know if your students are learning?

Some students will ask questions while others don’t. Be sure to provide an established question time during your sessions or office hours at a later time. The questions students ask will help you not only help them but also help you design future courses.


Time management is one of the biggest challenges for new teachers.

No matter how well you plan and set time for each part of your course, things can happen to get you off schedule. This will improve every time you teach a live lesson or create your course. As a beginner, create a schedule and plan backup activities in case you ever need them.

With time, you’ll become a pro at lesson planning knowing how much time you’ll need.


“You had me at hello!” 

How you present yourself from Day 1 is how your students will remember you. It’s also how students will decide if they want to learn from you or not. From the minute you say hello and in the manner you say it, you’ll be showing your personality. So, my advice…BE YOU!!! Being true to yourself will also be what resonates with your students.

Remember, not all students will want to learn from you, and that’s okay!

Remember T.E.A.C.H. and I'll be rooting for ya!

Esther Ciganda

Multilingual + Multipassionate Veteran Teacher writing about my pivot to Edupreneur | Daughter of Basque Immigrants & Farmers | Podcaster | 🧠 tumor survivor