Its now been 6 weeks since I have started working for DadaABC. Before I started, I had a feeling I would make a decent teacher. Although I hadn’t had much experience with kids, I would describe myself as very silly and quirky, and a massive goober. I love to sing my heart out at karaoke bars and cosplay as a pharaoh at all the music festivals that I go to. Now armed with an arsenal of stuffed animals, and my teacher’s assistant Dino the dragon, I truly am loving my job 🙂
At first I wasn’t really sure what to do with my students, or how the lessons would go. I was more or less being thrown in the fire. Luckily, I saw that the courseware was pretty user friendly with many things you can talk about. You can ask the students, ‘what can you see,’ or, ‘what is this,’ to expand on different items within the pictures to teach vocabulary. You can ask them where the different things are which helps them to use different prepositions like ‘by’, ‘near’, ‘under’, or ‘on.’
Even throughout the lessons I will give them little animal prizes, and normally ask them to choose.
Me: Do you want a dog or a panda?
Me: ‘I want a dog!’
Them: I want a dog!
Me: Good sentence, very good!
So even something like that can help encourage them and also be a way to slowly get them speaking in complete sentences more.
In one of my lessons, I had a story about an emperor’s outfit which basically described all the things this emperor did to pass the time while waiting for his new outfit. Sadly I didn’t get to teach this lesson because the the student was absolutely insane. He just screamed into his microphone the whole class, and at one point was even striking the . Luckily, I was spared this lesson by DadaABC after being prepared with my pharaoh costume and being screamed at for 20 minutes.
After a very exhausting and frustrating lesson I figured, why not wear it in a few of my other lessons with some of my regular students who would probably love it? Both DadaABC and my students loved the costume and it made the lessons more entertaining than normal. In a lot of the training videos that they make us watch, the teachers wore other costumes, so it in a way it felt like I had then officially become part of the team. I don’t wear it to every class, but I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be part of a company that encourages such creativity and shining your individuality.
I’ve now had 10-12 lessons with many of my regular students, and couldn’t feel more blessed and privileged to be able to spend 30 minutes with a few of these kids 2-3 days each week. My students range from 4 years old to 12. With a few of my students I’ve started with ABC’s, extremely basic language like ‘what is your name, how are you, and how old are you?’ With Others we talk about travel experiences, read different stories, or talk about our respective cities, hobbies, likes and dislikes of food. Some of them can use multiple verb tenses, and others struggle to say their name, but they are all showing me that teaching is extremely rewarding and inordinate amounts of fun.
DadaABC scaffolds using props and puppets for their lessons and wants us to have at least 2. After noticing a few of my girls had HelloKitty dolls, I figured why not get a HelloKitty doll too? She can come in very handy if some of the girls are extremely shy. Even some of the boys like her too! I have an assortment of stuffed animals I can use to make lessons more fun since a lot of my kids are 6-10.
Sometimes I get kids that are as silent and awkward as statues, but like in any relationship you have to focus on yourself and what you can do to make the situation better. It can definitely be frustrating if a kid won’t speak, and you have to repeat yourself several times. Often times, it doesn’t change anything and the shy ones remain that, but with patience, smiling, and enthusiasm some of them are able to be pried out of their hard pistachio shells.
Since all I need is a stable internet connection, I’m planning on moving back to Phuket at the end of the year and traveling around southeast Asia next year a little while continuing to work for DadaABC.
I make nowhere near what I used to make playing poker as a teacher, but I feel so much more fulfilled and actually look forward to logging in and seeing my favorite students opposed to dreading the drive to the casino every night. Its been a wonderful experience so far, and I’m excited to see my students continuing to improve. Many are making lots of progress so far, and I’m sure its only the beginning 🙂 I look forward to sharing more stories and lessons from the classroom.
Until next time!