Hi Everyone! Teacher Stephanie here, welcome to my blog post!
Ever since I started with Qkids 5 contracts ago (Yay!), I have fielded many of the same questions from people interested in what I do. I love talking about working for Qkids because if it wasn't for my friend at my 9 to 5 office job who broke it all down for me, I never would have applied. It's my turn to pay the good fortune forward. And that is exactly how I view my time with Qkids - fortunate. Working at this company and teaching these children has changed my life in ways I did not think were possible.
So, let's get started and talk about the common expectations and questions I’ve heard about teaching English online with Qkids.
Let's dispel that myth right now: I do not speak Chinese. An amazing aspect of teaching in the ESL (English as a Second Language) community is that you DO NOT need to speak the native language. In fact, in most institutions, it is preferred that you do not know the language of the students.
ESL is different from standard language learning in that the focus is on immersion rather than grammar definitions and memorization. If a student is unable to ask the teacher a question in their own language, they are forced to try their best to communicate in English. While this may sound scary, it's also brilliant. You learn so much more about natural English communication by actively using the language. You'd be amazed at how quickly the students learn and how small errors become positive learning experiences.
Most people inevitably fall back on this belief - good for you, but it's not for me. And honestly, maybe it isn't. Teaching isn't for everyone. Working with children isn't for everyone. But the thing is, I too thought it wasn't for me. So, let me explain how I moved from one camp to the other and why that leap was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Two things in my life that I am proud of, simply because of the effort I spent to build them, are my work and educational backgrounds. I have spent the last decade working in the world of Pharmacy taking on roles in the spheres of retail, hospital, and benefits management. I also spent nearly a decade in college obtaining a double BA in History and Japanese Language and my MA in World History. Does that sound like the background of an English teacher to you?
Despite my random experiences, I had one thing going for me: I loved to teach. For me, “teaching” simply had other names. I was a tutor, a guide, and a trainer. I realized that in every role I took on, I naturally gravitated towards helping other people understand what we were doing. In the end, it’s the passion that matters, not what jobs you’ve had or what degrees you’ve earned. There are all sorts of teachers at Qkids with all sorts of stories and backgrounds. So, while it might not be for everyone, it could be for you.
Not to sound dramatic, but Qkids really did save me from a difficult situation. As anyone going to college today knows, student loans are no joke. While I may be proud of my education and I do not regret it, that bill every month was not something that I embraced with any sort of enthusiasm. The fact was, I could barely afford it on top of my mortgage even while working full time with a part-time job on the side.
Aside from the financial burden, I had gone to school intending to be an educator. The unfortunate truth was that the field that I was trained in was oversaturated and those hiring were not interested in new grads with no formal experience. Even though I did, and still do, enjoy working in the pharmacy, it just was not my plan long-term.
Qkids allowed me to fix both problems. I was finally getting a chance to work with a company that had the word “teacher” in the job title. I built on my training and my experience from my ESL instruction courses and learned so many new things about educating others as well as what type of teacher I was. On top of that, my schedule of classes built up quickly, and before I knew it, I was making enough to cover my student loan payment and more each month. While money certainly cannot be the only motivation for a truly effective teacher, the truth is that it doesn’t hurt.
The prospect of jumping right in with Qkids and teaching classes was honestly a bit terrifying. Looking back now, I cannot believe how wrong I was to be nervous. The training I received after I was hired was more than enough to prepare me for my first class. Even more important was that the students were hungry for learning and once I left the class in their hands to guide me, nobody noticed my first-time jitters. Seeing new faces every day in each class is still as exciting going on 3 years later as it was in the beginning. Seeing repeat students now is an honor.
After telling my story, I like to ask people my own questions. Why not you? What are you afraid of? Sure, teaching isn’t for everyone. But are you sure that it’s not for you?
Anyone interested or ready to take that leap, please feel free to use my referral link!
I wish everyone the best of luck. Happy teaching!
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