Tips for Being a Virtual Babysitter
Now that many families are looking for ways to keep their kids entertained, educated and - most importantly - occupied, they want babysitters who can offer services virtually. In some cases, they'll want someone who can tutor in language or other subjects. In others, they just want someone who can have a conversation to keep the kids distracted so that parents can get what they need to, done. Either way, CareFinder wanted to give you some tips for how best to use video platforms for babysitting services.
1. Stay Professional
Just because you're working remotely, it doesn't mean your professionalism is off-the-clock. Prepare for and show up to an online session just as you would for in-person. Dress appropriately, be on time and maintain manners.
2. Consider Your Space
We know that space is normally at a premium, so when everyone else in your household is also at home, it's even tougher to find a quiet area for yourself. However, if you are going to make yourself available on video, you should do your best to ensure that you're doing so in a quiet, as-private-as-possible space. Noise and clutter will detract from any experience and the ability of your students to learn if you're tutoring. You should also make sure you won't be backlit (or poorly lit in general) and frame your shot so that your face fits neatly into the screen without being too close or too far.
3. Give Your Full Attention
When you're babysitting in person, it's easy to set your phone aside and ignore email and social media alerts. When you're working online, ignoring pings and dings is harder. Be sure to give the family you are working with your full attention: put your phone away and turn off any other notifications that might distract you during your session.
4. Reinforce and Repeat
While many children are now very familiar with online learning, it can still be difficult for them to understand concepts over the computer. If you're tutoring, be prepared to repeat and reinforce to ensure your student not only hears what you are saying correctly but is also grasping the lesson. After all, parents are hiring you to teach their children. They'll want to see progress if they're going to continue to employ you!
5. Be Interactive
Whether you're tutoring or telling a story, you need to be sure to engage your audience! Ask questions and create opportunities for them to participate. Because you aren't physically in the room with them, it's much easier to become disinterested and distracted if they're not apart of the process.
6. Have Props
Similar to being interactive, you need to be visually engaging as well. If you're going to host a storytime, consider a few DIY props that will help to set the scene and hold attention. Even sharing illustrations in the book you're reading is better than just reciting the words off of a page.
7. Get Creative
In some cases, families have a very clear reason for hiring you to work with them remotely, such as tutoring. But in others, they may just be looking for a way to keep their kids entertained. Be prepared to suggest fun, age-appropriate virtual activities. Maybe it's a sing-along or a dance lesson or an online game you can play together. This list has some great suggestions and resources to consider.