By: Jamisha Jeffery
I began my journey of becoming a VIPKID teacher in May of this year and let’s just say this job has exceeded my expectations. I didn’t know how much this job would have such an impact on my life as a teacher. I initially decided to work for VIPKID to make extra income and make use of my teaching endorsement in English as a Second Language (ESL) but working for VIPKID became so much more than that. Here I am on day 76 and I have made connections with children who live on the other side of the world! Each time I open my camera, I’m excited to teach and share my knowledge of the English language. It brings me such joy to see the smiles and hear those infectious laughs of my students in the classroom. As a newbie, I have found a few teacher hacks that I’d like to share.
1. Props and rewards
2. Organize your space
3. time management
stretching, and any other form of routine that you enjoy needs to be done before you begin teaching. So make sure you have enough time to get those things done. And most importantly, be sure that your computer is ready to use. Make sure that you have a stable internet connection and be sure that your computer won’t be making any updates. You don’t want to risk having a teacher no show or experience any IT issues. Plan and prepare!
4. have fun!
As teachers, sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves especially after teaching a particular lesson. If you think a lesson went great, reflect on what worked well. Was it your enthusiasm, a certain prop or teaching method that helped your student? Figure out what really worked so that you can continue to shine when teaching your students. If your lesson didn’t go as well as you would have liked it to, don’t beat yourself up about it! Watch the replay of your lesson and reflect on what you could have done better. Making simple adjustments to a lesson can really make or break a lesson so always do some teaching reflection after your lessons.
I hope that these tips have been helpful! Enjoy your experience as a VIPKID teacher. Everyone’s experiences are unique and that what makes this job so rewarding. Happy Teaching!
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By Mary Caroline Smith
ends meet until I started getting my teaching salary again. I also wanted to avoid the mistakes of completely ruining my credit again. By pure dumb luck, I stumbled across an ad for an online company called VIPKID and decided to give it a try. (Read more about that journey here.)
I went back to work full time after three months of maternity leave in March, and started with VIPKID in April when my baby was four months old. I did not truly understand the meaning of "tired" until May of this year. I had to really adjust my personal life to make this work. It is possible to do this and stay sane, but be prepared to compromise and let go of many things you enjoyed doing in your former life. Holding on to expectations that are unrealistic will cause you to be frustrated and burn out. Be honest with yourself. If something isn't working for you, it's OK to let it go and try a different way. It took me many weeks of experimenting to figure out a schedule that would allow me to work AND still be a person that I was comfortable being. The most important thing to remember is to take care of yourself. Sure, I need to pay the rent, but I also need to have the energy to be a good mom and a good employee. You are not doing anyone any favors when you are chronically fatigued and not mentally present. I have found that there are four key things that help me juggle all of my responsibilities and maintain a *moderately* healthy balance.
No matter how busy you are, make time to get enough sleep. Some people function just fine with 4-5 hours. Personally, I need at least 6 hours to be my best self. Know your limits and don't push them. Find the time to take a nap, make a way to get to bed early. No one knows your body better than you do. Listen to what it tells you. Besides affecting your productivity and mental health, lack of sleep can be physically dangerous to you and your children if you have them. Don't take an unnecessary chances. It's OK to take a morning or a day off. I take off every Sunday to sleep late and make up any sleep debt I have accumulated (and to spend time with my family). That is non-negotiable. You need a MINIMUM of one day a week to relax.
#3- Personal Care
So you have perfected the art of being an amazing, selfless parent and partner. Your boss loves you and your coworkers want to be you. But do YOU love you? Are you eating enough? Are you getting out of the house daily? (Even if it is just to walk the dog or get groceries!) When is the last time you bought a new outfit for YOU? Get your hair done, get a pedicure. Make sure that you are still a priority in your own life. You are working hard and you deserve a treat on occasion. When you feel good about yourself, it has a positive effect on the world around you.
them now and enjoy them so much more. It's all about perspective. Before this season of my life, I was also the type of person that HAD to do the dishes and clean the kitchen as soon as everyone was done eating. I HAD to fold the laundry before it got cold. I HAD to sweep and mop every Saturday. After my baby was born, I became an absolute ball of anxiety as I watched the dirt collect in the corners and the laundry mountain pile up. Then a couple of months in, I decided that it wasn't worth the stress. It really wasn't THAT important that I cleaned the baseboards of my home. I have learned that it's OK to let go of things that used to be important. For me, it's more important now to spend my free time doing something with my child or to take care of myself. No one has ever died from ULS (Unfolded Laundry Syndrome).
Click here to view two schedules I use so you can get an idea of what may (or may not) work for you.
Sometimes no matter how much you plan or organize your life, it just isn't going to work. Don't get SO obsessed with your schedule that it causes you more anxiety. You can go off script. It's OK to take a mental health day. Your child will survive a day without a bath. Decide what things are REALLY important to you and make them your priority. Sometimes you have to change the way you think or do things, but at the end of the day, make sure you are finding joy in your life. Because if you're not, then what's the point?
Managing motherhood and a career can be difficult whether you return to work or stay at home. There are tons of considerations to be made. Just because mom is home, doesn't mean she can stop to entertain a child or mitigate life's little catastrophes that seem to happen right in the middle of class. Floorspace is given up to accommodate a classroom or a room becomes multi-purpose. Meanwhile, all the regular "incidents" and tasks continue to be there, even if the other parent handles some of the duties. Read below for some tips and tricks from other VIPKID moms!
have a play yard
Some VIPKID moms swear by the play yard. Depending on your floor plan, you can position it to "corral" kids who wake up from naps and come wandering out during class. It may be possible to place it just within sight so you can teach with peace of mind. Prepared with a snack, a tv on
USE A floor-cleaning Robot
Prep meals ahead of time
sleep sounds for everyone
What's YOUR secret to combining work and home? Comment below to let us know how you do it!