My name is Teacher Alicia and I have been teaching with Qkids since July of 2018. I am a wife of 23 years, a mother to four children, well two children now and two adults, and a Qkids teacher.
Having a job like this is something that I never really had dreamed of, however, for me, it’s been a great fit. Being an online teacher isn’t always the easiest thing to do, and I have found myself realizing that everything is a learning curve.
Being a new Qkids teacher, we’ve all been there, especially when those first peak hours hit. Thinking of the extra income, feeling guilty for turning down class invites, wanting to work as much as possible. All great and wonderful things...until they aren’t.
Becoming a teacher for Qkids has been life-changing for me. I haven’t had a decent job or income since I had children. Now that my children are older, I find myself wanting to do some other things but not quite comfortable leaving the home for long periods of time. (Everyone has their circumstances, right?)
I don’t know about you, but when I first heard about Qkids through a friend and I thought about applying, I was nervous. It had been such a long time since I had had a regular job, and I wasn’t sure of my own abilities. It was a big and scary thing.
However, I found out that I loved it. And I still do. But…
Everyone has those days, those “off” times, or those times when you are tired, or not feeling well. We all want to be there for the students, for the company that has been so good to us; we feel guilty for turning down class invitations.
Well, I say DON’T.
One of the things that I have discovered working for Qkids is that taking care of myself is a MUST! Personally, I am not as effective as a teacher if I am tired, overworked, and sick. I don’t enjoy my students and my students don’t enjoy me.
Part of the great thing about working for Qkids is enjoying your job! But if you have worked yourself into the ground, if you are falling asleep while teaching, if you are tired and cranky, it’s hard to enjoy your job.
I’m pretty sure we have all been there. We see it in Facebook groups and posts all the time.
Teachers who are tired or burnt out, but feeling guilty for not accepting that class invitation. Teachers who are sick and upset for having to ask for classes off.
So my first tip is:
This is a great tip for me too. I still have to work on this one. The lure of the extra hours, the extra pay is so tempting at times. I want to work as much as I can, until...I start making mistakes, my ratings start to drop, I’m unable to be there for my own family because I’m just EXHAUSTED. Teachers, when you reach that point, you aren’t doing anyone very much good. Not your students, not your family, not yourself.
This is not to say that each teacher has the same limits, that is definitely not true. Some teachers can work more than other teachers, that’s just how it is. Qkids NEEDS us to stay healthy and happy with our work. So knowing your own personal limits is definitely a MUST.
Yes, yes, yes! One of the other lessons that I have learned about being an online teacher is that it is very hard on your throat and your voice. Now for someone who studied acting, voice production, and speech, and singing, I should have known that taking care of my voice was a must, but I didn’t. I did not realize the toll that teaching would take on my voice. One of the most important things that you can do is hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I can not stress that too much. Cough drops, lozenges, anything to keep your throat from drying out. I know that this may sound a little off-putting, but nasal saline and nasal rinses are a tremendous help. If you were to look at anyone who works doing voice-overs or singing for a living, they would have the same kinds of tips. If you need a humidifier in your teaching area, please do so. You want to do everything you can to keep your voice from getting dried out.
Try to avoid caffeine if possible. YES, I know, most of us live off of it. If you must, make sure you are adding water, tea, hot water, something with honey or lemon. Throat Coat is a type of tea and is excellent. There are also throat sprays and lozenges for people who sing or talk a lot available on Amazon and other websites.
Taking care of your voice is a definite must because if you don’t, you can damage your throat long term or even permanently.
If you are tired, and especially if your voice is giving you issues if you aren’t seeing your family, REST! I know that we all want to do as much as we can for our students and for Qkids. We do that the best when we are well and not sick and when we are rested and feel healthy.
Rest is also very important in caring for your voice. Your larynx works exactly the same
way as a muscle in any other part of your body. If your larynx is tired, then you also
risk damaging your vocal cords and your voice permanently.
I feel privileged to work for such a great company. I hope that you do too! However, sometimes we as teachers need to realize that less is more. We can give more when we are at our best. It’s a great job, a great company, but burnout is real. Being rundown can lead to illness and more missed classes than if you take care of yourself in the first place.
These are just some tips to help you become a better teacher, from Teacher Alicia. I hope you enjoyed them and that they help you in your future as an online teacher with Qkids!
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