The Firemen are Real

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In mid October, teacher Beth joined the VIPKID team from her wonderful home classroom on the East Coast of Canada. Almost immediately she began learning some very crucial things. Check out what she learned!

By Teacher  Beth Ann Knowles


1. First and perhaps most importantly, I learned about the Firemen; rather I learned there really are “Firemen”. I remember showing my husband the contract and saying, “what do you think they mean by Firemen? There must have been a mistake in the translation.“

He seemed perplexed as well but suggested, “perhaps they meant to say Foremen?”

For a few days we speculated just who these “Firemen” were; trying to figure out where the translation went wrong. Soon though, perhaps on my first day of teaching, I met the Firemen, or rather I virtually encountered them on Skype, and we’ve been getting to know each other ever since.

2. It wasn’t long before I learned how essential these Firemen are to my life. They are right up there with a glass of wine at supper and knowing where my shovel is BEFORE the snowstorm begins. They can have an upside down student turned right side up in the blink of a cell phone call. They can rectify a deafening feedback screech as quick as you can type “ready for class”.

These VIPKID Firemen, and Firewomen I believe, are the superheroes in my workday and each and everyday I appreciate them more and more.

3. As super duper amazing as the Firemen are, they aren’t super human and on occasion they cannot fix a technical difficulty right away. In these instances of downtime, I’ve learned to have something ready; something to occupy my time while I wait for my class to happen or be canceled. My favourite cancelled class pastime is playing music. Sometimes it is guitar and sometimes it is harmonica. They both can function as a distraction to reign in a particularly active student, and they both can amuse me while I wait. I’m new to playing harmonica but recently I’ve pieced together a fairly terrible version of “Silent Night”. My rendition of “Goodnight Ladies” is coming along as well. If there is ever a VIPKID band I’m signing up.

4. Yes, my harmonica has been a fun distraction for me but I’ve also learned not become too distracted by it; I’ve learned to always keep one eye on the computer in case a class does start. While it was wonderful one student’s video of me began working, it wasn’t so good that my audio of them did not, as I had decided to get up, stretch, and gaze out the window while belting out one of my two new harmonica songs. I’m not sure how long I serenaded the Dad for but he did seem to be enjoying it when I finally realized I had an audience.

5. In instances like these and in every one of my classes I’ve learned that I’m a lot like Elf from the movie “Elf”; smiling is my favourite too. It wasn’t always, especially at 5:30 AM, but now it is…these kids make me smile. And sometimes I make them and their parent’s smile which makes me smile. It’s a vicious cycle of smiling and now I’m in physio for my cheeks.

As for 2016, I hope for much more of the same with VIPKID. My experience thus far has been so wonderful I wouldn’t change a thing; well maybe a few less technical difficulties and perhaps a 100% sign-up rate for my Trial classes but other than that, much more of the same.

To become a VIPKID teacher, please click here.

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