I’ve been back home from Phuket for a few weeks. I knew this post would be hard to write, so wanted to give myself adequate time to reflect and to commit to a path. Most of you know that I had knots of reluctance in my stomach, and hadn’t the slightest desire to return back to Vegas, but my job in Phuket was dreadful. Children threw papers at me, wouldn’t stop talking, and per my contract I was not allowed to collaborate with the Thai teachers for disciplinary issues. The environment was extremely toxic and had no resources which led me to feel more like a zookeeper than a teacher. Although Phuket was paradise and I had made some friends I truly miss, and a couple of awesome girls I was starting to gain mutual feelings for, the job was truly a nightmare, so I decided that it wasn’t worth it.
At first I was so depressed to be leaving Phuket, but once I got on the plane I felt that cleansing feeling of acceptance once I let go and set my intention of coming back before New Years. I would look how to get into online teaching, save money for a few months, and move back with the intention of being a nomad and teaching and traveling around Southeast Asia. I think it would be cool to keep Phuket as my main hub for 2-3 months at a time, then go to a couple of different countries to renew my visa, or if not return back to Vegas for a few months and head back. I found an opportunity that might make this possible.
Last Tuesday I started working for a company called Dada ABC located in Shanghai. They offer English lessons to children between 5 and 15 in China with native speakers. The site itself is configured with all sorts of materials for native teachers to use for their lessons. All they require is you to have a college degree, so I applied, had an interview where I talked about my CELTA training and travel goals, and learned more about the platform of the site. I then had mock demo lesson with a student, after which I was hired. My recruiter and teacher trainer were both awesome, and so far I’ve gotten a very professional and inviting vibe from the company.
Today was my 4th day working and am currently giving trial lessons with a bunch of different students while acquiring regular students. Most of the students’ levels are extremely extremely basic. In a lot of my lessons we do ABC’s, nursery songs like itsby bitsy spider or Old Mcdonald’s farm, or learn about animals and foods. I use a puppet named Dino the Dragon, some flash cards, and some stuffed animals and its always a lot of fun! Today I even had a couple of students whose brilliance blew my mind.
I had a 6 year old boy named Paco*. Paco, learning English as his second language, read to me an article on varying customs or traditions for festivals based on culture focusing on Cinco De mayo. He read so naturally, and his vocabulary level was so impressive for his age. He then told me about how Chinese music used a lot of piano and drums which I found interesting. I thought his level of English was comparable to a lot of English learning adults I have met, and he had a contagious energy and inspiring enthusiasm to learn. Like many other wonderful students I’ve had, I hope he becomes a regular student. I would consider it an honor to teach an awesome kid like him!
I also had an 11 year old named Sally.* Sally could likely read the vast majority of this blog post. She has to be at the very least B2, and most likely C1. We read an article about children’s innovative ideas which led to fulfilling businesses. One 10 year old girl created a business using recycled glasses for plants which she sells on her website. Another girl wanted to make her own clothes growing up as a little girl, so at the age of 6 ended up making her own clothes, and then went on to make her own clothing line. The article was pretty interesting and she read flawlessly. Ok, I had to correct her pronunciation a couple of times for words like ‘harvest’ or ‘Cecilia,’ but she knew everything for the most part!
After chatting a bit with her towards the end, she does math olympics at her school, has to give a speech for the entire school tomorrow, and already knows calculus at age 11. I know in China that they learn calculus in middle school. I don’t think she found it interesting, but I told her that we don’t learn it until the end of high school if not college in America. Teaching children so bright and wonderful is very humbling. Again, fingers crossed!
The pay isn’t bad at all, I can work from home, and I’m resume building for when I start applying for normal teaching jobs in the future. What I want more than anything is to travel and to live abroad. That is the dream for me. I want to travel around southeast Asia until 2019 before then likely trying to teach in Japan. I’ve said this before; I have that feeling once I go to Japan I’ll never leave, so am not in a hurry to get there. If I’m the master creator of my destiny then I’ll create Phuket the majority of 2018 with side trips and then transitioning back into live teaching in 2019 and going to Tokyo. The only one stopping me from making it happening is me, so time to stay out of trouble, put my head down and save money, and ultimately do work.
Until next time,