Imagine yourself, sitting at home relaxing in front of the television. You’re watching your favorite television show and all of a sudden, commercial time. Your hand reaches down to the couch to pick up the TV remote, because you’ve been programmed to despise commercials. As your finger slowly grazes over the last button, something stops you in your tracks. Your eyes widen as images filter their way into your mind. An unintentional smirk appears on your face as you find yourself enthralled with what you’re watching. All of a sudden you burst into laughter, the biggest smile making its way across your face. As the commercial slowly ends, you see a company logo and instantly your mind is permanently imprinted with a memory of those entrancing 30 seconds. An imprint that you will remember forever, a moment, captured in time.
So what in the world does a television commercial have to do with VIPKID trial classes? Well the way I see it, everything!
By Teacher Shannon Elizabeth
Any of you who have ever taught a trial class know that you only have a few minutes, maybe even seconds to grab the attention of this little person sitting right on the other side of the screen, yet thousands of miles away. So in preparation for such a weighty assignment we must pull out all the stops as they say. Crazy hats, silly glasses, creative pictures on our whiteboard behind us. Balloons, puppets, stuffed animals, anything and everything to get that one precious smile or even a mouth full of teeth and an adorable laugh that instantly tells us; SUCCESS! There is something truly fulfilling about seeing a child gaze upon things they have never seen before, their eyes open wide, mouths drop, hands flying in the sky with excitement! Who else gets to see this sort of stuff everyday?
But, there is one thing that makes this short 25 minutes purely beautiful. Many of these students have never seen anyone from outside of China! Now imagine that fact in your mind. You, sitting in your overly decorated bedroom or makeshift basement office, has the opportunity to be the first American or Canadian that this child has ever seen in their entire life! What a beautiful privilege! We have the opportunity to represent not only this amazing company we work for, but also our entire country, culture, lifestyle and language. Sometimes it makes me think about the first time man set foot on the moon. (yes, I compared trial classes to the moon! – 1 small step for this child, 1 giant leap for bringing cultures together!)
Needless to say, the opportunity we get when we are privileged to spend 25 minutes with a trial student, isn’t simply a chance to represent our company, VIPKID, or to show the child that- learning English is FUN! It isn’t simply a chance to try and sell our brand, showing them that VIPKID is superior above the rest. It is so much more! We have a golden opportunity to be the first face of a foreign country, culture, mindset, attitude, even a type of face this little child has never seen before.
So next time you retrospectively think back on your trial classes, whether they signed up and became a regular of yours, or they disappeared into the wind, be assured that YOUR face will always be remembered by someone as their first- English teacher, American/Canadian citizen etc. So lets give each of our trials everything we’ve got, something we will be proud of today, tomorrow and everyday after that.