Some of you may have been scratching your head as you looked at the schedule, as all VIPKID classes are 25 minutes long yet teachers are booked into 30-minute slots. So, what do you do with the extra 5 minutes you may be thinking? Those 5 minutes are totally up to you and we’ve put together a few ideas just in case you wasn’t sure how you could spend this time.
Some teachers opt to spend the 5 minutes meditating and relaxing their mind and body for the class ahead. This is a fantastic way to relieve stress and calm the nerves as teaching can often, though rewarding, become very draining and arduous.
During the lesson a teacher will mostly like be very animated, whether it be acting out something with finger puppets, pointing and gesturing to different objects or generally being an active and energised teacher. You don’t want to be teaching a lesson on feet, pointing to your own and suddenly catching a huge cramp or strain. A teacher whose body is nimble and free will be more interesting to watch than one who moves like a robot.
There may have been things that cropped up over the course of the prior lesson(s) that you wanted to jot down but couldn’t do so in the moment. This is an ample opportunity to really get your thoughts down onto paper so you don’t forget. Maybe one of the props you had didn’t engage with the children or the microphone is a bit fuzzy and needs replacing.
There are a few things more uncomfortable than severely needing to go to the bathroom and having to pretend you don’t. Children pay more attention to a teacher who smiles and looks open, so wincing every time you move as you’re pushing against your bladder isn’t going to go down so well.
Many of our teachers are away travelling which means that in most cases there is a big time difference that disrupts proper communication. This is a great time to catch up on messages from loved ones or pick up the phone for a quick call. Not only does this eliminate the potential urge to check your phone during a lesson but it also helps your mood. Teaching has its benefits but it can be time consuming without leaving much time for other things. Being able to speak to those you care about, even for a few minutes, can make all the difference. Especially when you’re having a bad day.
One of our teachers who used to be a high school dance teacher came up with this stimulating way to spend the 5 minutes. A big fan of music, she created a 3-minute dance break where she would jump and move around the place, totally engrossed in her music. She would spend a minute selecting a good, pumping song, then dance and laugh for 3 minutes, and then spend the last minute cooling down. This was her way of shaking loose and having a little time during the day dedicated only to her and her music
We’re not talking anything massively strenuous but something that can help get the blood rushing around your body. It can be as simple as a quick jog on the spot or something a little more intensive such as push-ups. Exercise helps the blood carry more oxygen to the brain, making you more alert and ready for the lesson(s) ahead!
Last but not least – take a chill pill. Our teachers are fantastic and talented individuals who work hard to ensure that their students are receiving the best education possible. They deserve a break. You can use the 5 minutes to kick back, maybe put your feet up, and rest your mind and body. Remember, a tired teacher is no good to anybody.