Tag Archives: Teach Abroad

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.



Book Review: The Lazy Teacher’s Guide To TEFL by Ian Leahy


Short on time or money? The Lazy Teacher’s Guide To TEFL is a very simple and practical guide to teaching English as a foreign language. This guide takes the less is more approach to TEFL which can be especially good for newcomers.

It is not meant to overwhelm you by exposing you to too much information. This focuses on teaching you simple and effective tools for the classroom. It is free of theory, grammar study and non-essential classroom tools.

It is not a comprehensive guide to teaching ESL. Again it is simple and its goal is to make entering the ESL classroom much easier. If you don’t have the time, money or the desire to take a TEFL course and would like to enter the classroom with some know-how then this could be for you. It could also be for the person who has taken a course and probably forgot what they learned.

Learn how to teach English (especially to kids) with this practical quick start guide to teaching ESL.


My Review:

I have been reading a lot of Teach English as a Foreign Language books and I admit most are pretty redundant. This one felt useful as it truly gives an easy way to breakdown and process lesson planning. Granted it is probably a better idea to be a little more detailed in classes but honestly I like how the author explained how the classes should go and gave tips on what to do with bad situations in the classroom. When I am ready to leave I will definitely download this one again as a refresher.

This book offers game ideas as well as ways to break the ice with students.   The author also included a lot of links to videos that I completely going to watch especially before I leave to teach abroad.

Click the link below to purchase.

The Lazy Teacher’s Guide To TEFL

Disclaimer:  This post does contain affiliate links, which I earn a small commission if you purchase at absolutely no cost to you.