Tag Archives: ESL

VIPKID DIARIES- My first 1000 classes

I am starting to realize my story is vastly different than a lot of people on social media.  I have joined quite a few VIPKID facebook pages for tips and advice and I am learning that the number one topic is…

How do I get more bookings?

When I see these posts I never comment because even though I have a great schedule I really don’t know the answer.  I also don’t really want to say I worked 148 classes last week.  I feel like that is rude when people are really upset about their lack of bookings.

I really don’t know why I have been successful and I know that it can change at any time but I am going to continue to give 110% every class and build my base.   I am hoping that I stay busy and that I can save a lot of money doing this.

I am currently working over night all Summer.  My current schedule is anywhere from 90-150 classes a week and I am not closing any spots.    Once Summer is over I will share my thoughts on working the crazy China Summer schedule but I can sum it up with one word… intense.

But for now, what have I learned about teaching ESL in my first 1000 classes?

I can act out any animal.

TPR (Total Physical Response) can be a workout but necessary to teach online you truly can get your point across with TPR… my street game abroad is going to be stepped up now thanks to VIPKID.

Chinese Education is insane and very regimented.

Introverted children need a calmer more relaxed class vs the over the top videos you might see on YouTube.

You need to be able to read a student’s personality in the first few minutes of class or you will never see them again.

Some parents just might not like your style and you absolutely have to accept that.

ADHD exists in China.

You need to know math to teach English at VIPKID lol

Having fun is so important.

Really while some of these are joking (well actually I am not joking about any of them) the most important thing you have to have is a positive attitude.    I also think part of my success is I am very update to date about Chinese education.  I read articles, I learn about their standardized tests.  I understand what school is like for them and I think that matters.    I read so many comments on the groups from people who have ABSOLUTELY no clue about the culture they are teaching and yes I 100% think it affects their bookings. Without a doubt.

I believe to be successful in any job you must understand who you are dealing with whether it be business on wall street or children in China.   I really think parents come back to me because I try to teach to their expectations and not my own.   (I would have never made it in China… seriously they have homework over the Summer… that they are expected to know BEFORE they go back to school)

I absolutely love my job and it is perfect because it let’s me dive right into a culture every single day.   I look into lives of a culture that is vastly different than my own but at the same time very much the same because at the end of the day we are just people.   I love that.  I love everything about my job and even though I am working 90 hours a week right now I would not change it for a single thing!

For every thing I have written about VIPKID, click here.

 

 

Teach English Abroad: A Step by Step Guide by Jeremy Roberts

Summary: A step by step guide on all the things you must complete and things to consider when moving abroad to teach English.

My review: I am reading so much about teaching abroad because I am planning on getting my TEFL certification and I feel like there much information I need to learn prior to making a decision.

This book was more of a step by step guide on what to do once you have your contract and you at are in the country. It is a great guide for once you have your TEFL and you are starting to interview and have made a decision on your school.

When you start reading a lot of these books they do tend to have a lot of the same information but each one gives an insight that is valuable to help you make a great choice. This author stressed the importance of reading your contract. A great guide for after getting your TEFL.

This book also offers a lot of considerations you should take when planning to teach abroad.  I also like that the author was 38 when they left, I will likely be 37 so it was very valuable insight for my age bracket.

Teach English Abroad: Change Your Life, Make Friends, and Travel the World by Gregory Forster

Summary: Have you ever thought about teaching English abroad?

If you choose to do so you can change your life, meeting amazing people you never knew existed and travel around the world. All while earning enough money to make a pretty good living. This book focuses on the process of teaching English abroad from the time you make the decision to do so until the time you actually leave your home country and go teach. This period of the process is by far the hardest and the easiest period to talk yourself out of doing it all together. I aim to help you through that process and make sure that you go through with it.

I have been teaching English in South East Asia for the past few years and I love it. This book is about teaching anywhere in the world but the majority of the information is about SE Asia.

If you have always wanted to but never seriously considered teaching abroad I hope you read this book and decide to actually do it.

 

My Review:  “The hardest part about the process of teaching English abroad is the initial decision to o through with it”

The moment I read this line I knew this book was going to be very honest, short, sweet and to the point.  That is the hardest part about making a decision like this except the boredom from saving money so you can actually leave.

The author is very clear that it is not a book about how to teach English, but to help you make a decision to go through with the decision.

Each chapter is broken into questions which  loved simply because they are questions I have asked myself since making this decision or toying with this decision.

I like the author broke down sections of the world and gave you an idea of what your expectations should be.   The author also broke down the different types of jobs you can find while abroad.

This was a very short informative book that should be on your must read list if you are wanting or even contemplating teaching abroad.

“How do you teach if you don’t speak the local language”

Since I announced this is the number one question I have been asked.  I have been asked “Do you even speak Chinese”  and “How are they going to understand you if you don’t speak Chinese”   It hasn’t been hateful I think my dad was pretty curious and I think my friend really wanted to know.   The response in this chapter is perfect and exactly how I will handle it from now on.

Such a great short book that I highly recommend reading.

REVIEW: The Ultimate ESL Game Book: Mini-Games and Activities for Young Language Learners

Summary: The Ultimate ESL Game Book is a diverse directory of games and activities created for the ESL classroom with fun and interactive learning in mind. With over 70 individual games and a wide collection of illustrations, there is certainly a game for every classroom occasion. The games provided can quickly infuse any teacher’s valuable learning materials and lesson content with exhilarating mini-games, projects, and activities. Specifically geared towards young learners ages three through ten, the games and activities found in this book aim to stimulate language learning to the extreme.

“The Ultimate ESL Game Book occasionally challenges even the most experienced teachers. Kaplan’s game book is a powerful addition to the arsenal of any ESL teacher. The multitude of games included in the handbook are well-explained, diverse, and certain to make your classroom a more enjoyable and productive learning environment.”
-Read Jay Coburn, Kindergarten Academic Manager in Jinan, China.

“This game book really is the ultimate. It’s a must-buy for any teacher teaching a second language anywhere in the world. The games are well-organized and easily adaptable to students of any age. More importantly, they facilitate an exciting learning environment.”
-Steven Dearholt, Kindergarten Franchise Manager in Haikou, China

 

My Review:   When I read the title of this book in my TEFL and teaching abroad research I knew it wasn’t quite what I was looking for but I was curious in regards to the idea of teaching English.  I LOVE this guide in fact I am pretty sure this is one of the books I will buy when I am ready to pack up my stuff and move abroad to teach English.     The book let’s you know this is especially effective in Asia, because it is a visual education but the games and practice and can be worked into any curriculum.

Fantastic book that I will buy the physical copy of once I am ready to go (I utilized my Kindle Unlimited membership during my research)