China’s National Day and VIPKid

When is it?

Unlike many Chinese holidays and festivals, this one is not based on the lunar calendar. It has a fixed day every year – October 1!

In 2019, it will be celebrated October 1-7, but be aware that the weekends before and after will likely be mandatory work and school days.

What is it?

The full name of the holiday is “National Day of the People’s Republic of China.” It is a public holiday to honor the date that the PRC (People’s Republic of China) was founded in 1949. The holiday is celebrated in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

History

The first ceremony was held in Tianamen Square on October 1, 1949. The first public parade of the new People’s Liberation Army also took place in Tianamen Square, and that was also where the first address by the first Chairman happened. Many of the celebrations still happen in Beijing but are publicized on television.

Activities

The holiday’s activities actually begin the night before National Day. In past years, there was a wreath-laying ceremony done in remembrance of Chinese who perished, but beginning in 2014, this moved to a new “National Memorial Day” holiday held on the eve of National Day on September 30.

The morning of National Day, there is a 6am flag-raising ceremony. In 2019, the day will also marked with the National civil-military parade. This parade is one of the main highlights of the celebration in Beijing, and it used to be held yearly but now is held every 10th year. 2019 marks the 70th year of the PRC. The parade will be filled with key leaders in the Chinese government and will include a number of military weapons as part of the display.

According to ChinaHighlights.com, the event is celebrated October 1-7, which adjacent weekend days being mandatory workdays to help offset the time off. So you may find students traveling the first week in October, but home-bound while Mom and Dad work and they go to school the weekends before and after.

Will I get bookings or cancellations?

I was pretty new last year at this time, so I did not notice a difference. I also do not teach weekends. Based on what I’ve seen from other teachers, the biggest impact will be for those of you who book classes on the weekends. If your students are in school the weekends before and after the holiday, they might not be able to take their regularly-scheduled classes. During the holiday week, too, it’s possible their family will be traveling, so they might add, cancel, or change classes. As with most holidays in China, just be aware and try to be mindful of student schedule changes. To minimize impacts, it’s best if you can open up short notice bookings and be as flexible as possible!

What can I do in class to celebrate?

Any time you can bring elements of a festival into your classroom, children and their families will appreciate your efforts! I have heard of teachers adding red paper lanterns to their classroom to celebrate. There are also a few reward systems out there with Google Slides, so you could incorporate those into your class. Of course, it’s also a good opportunity to introduce as free-talk or icebreakers in your class. Questions could be:

  • Will you celebrate National Day?
  • Will you watch the parade on National Day?
  • Will you travel next week?

What should I do to prepare?

There’s really not too much you need to do to prepare, unless you want to incorporate decorations or rewards into your classroom.  Be flexible, and be open to hearing if your students want to tell you about their own celebrations on this day. Most importantly, have fun!

In 2019, there are two Chinese Culture workshops offered by VIPKid in the week leading up to National Day, so if you have questions or are looking for more information, that would be a good place to start! Check out the workshop schedule in the library for more info!

If you have suggestions of your own, please let me know in the comments, or let me know how this festival has been for you in the past!

If you are just getting started and would like help through the hiring process, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to help you through the application process with VIPKid!

Sources/More Information:

Wikipedia.com

China Highlights.com

YouTube video published by VIPKid: National Day with Belle from the Teacher Service Team!

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Mid-Autumn Festival and VIPKid

When is it?

The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. That means that the calendar date changes each year.

In 2019, the date falls on September 13, so the festival is celebrated from Friday, September 13 through Sunday, September 15.

What is it?

The Mid-Autumn Festival is the second largest festival in China (second only to Chinese New Year.) It is celebrated in mid-autumn (hence the name.)

The Mid-Autumn Festival may also be called The Moon Festival or the Harvest Moon Festival (since the moon is at its fullest and brightest during this time of the year.)

History

The festival was historically focused on moon-based sacrificial ceremonies. It was a time to give thanks for plentiful harvests. There were also several legends associated with the festival.

  • Chang E flies to the moon: One of the most popular stories is centered around an archer (Hou Yi) who somehow inherited a special, sacred elixer. (The stories behind this vary.) His wife Chang E ended up drinking the elixer and flying to the moon!
  • The Jade Rabbit pounds herbs: It is said that the Jade Rabbit (jack rabbit) is Chang E’s companion on the moon. He continually pounds herbs to make pills in an attempt to find a combination that will send Chang E back to Earth so she can be reunited with her husband.
  • Woodsman Wu Gang chops the laurel tree: This is a legend where a woodsman attempts to chop down a self-healing laurel tree each day at the Moon Palace. The tree heals itself each evening, and he resumes his efforts the next day.
  • Zhu Yuanzhang’s mooncake uprising: Zhu Yuanzhang is the founder of the Ming Dynasty. He attempted to launch an uprising on the night of the Mid-Autumn festival, but communications proved to be challenging. They ended up hiding notes in mooncakes to distribute them, leading to Zhu and his rebel forces taking the capital of the Yuan Dynasty (now Beijing) and beginning the Ming Dynasty.

Modern Day

Today, the festival is still celebrated by eating mooncakes. They are often given as gifts to wish someone a long and happy life. Families take time to appreciate the moon, honor family members who live far away, and sometimes celebrate with lanterns or dragon and lion dances, depending on their regions. People typically get one day off of work to celebrate, making the festival a long weekend in many regions.

Will I get bookings or cancellations?

I started with VIPKid last year around the time of the Mid-Autumn festival, so I do not have personal experience with bookings during this festival. In perusing the Facebook groups, it sounds as though it all depends on the students and their families. Some take the time off of classes, while others use the extra day off to book extra classes. Just be aware and try to be mindful of student schedule changes. As with most holidays, it’s best if you can open up short notice bookings and be as flexible as possible!

What can I do in class to celebrate?

Any time you can bring elements of a festival into your classroom, children and their families will appreciate your efforts! There are a few traditions that are easy to incorporate:

  • Mooncakes. Depending on your supermarket, you may be able to find actual mooncakes that you can eat “with” your students. If not, there are lots of mooncake rewards (digital or printable.) These can be fun to use around the time of the Mid-Autumn Festival. You can also use it for free talk, and ask your students if they made or ate Mooncakes! VIPKid even provides a mooncake reward system here!
  • Tradition. Especially if you teach older, higher-level children, this could be a good opportunity to compare traditions. Ask them to tell you If they grew up listening to the legends. Have them tell you their favorite one! You can share stories about “harvest festivals” in your country and foods that we eat. Holidays are always a good opportunity to share culture!
  • Decoration. If you enjoy decorating your classroom, there are some lovely images available for the Mid-Autumn Festival. The image on this blog post is from PNG Tree, but there are many beautiful images available.

What should I do to prepare?

There’s really not too much you need to do to prepare, unless you want to incorporate decorations or rewards into your classroom.  Be flexible, and be open to hearing if your students want to tell you about their own celebrations on this day. Most importantly, have fun!

If you are a current VIPKid teacher, keep your eyes open, because sometimes they will offer workshops about specific festivals. There are several Chinese culture workshops scheduled during September, so those might be a good place to start.

If you have suggestions of your own, please let me know in the comments, or let me know how this festival has been for you in the past!

If you are just getting started and would like help through the hiring process, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to help you through the application process with VIPKid!

Sources/More Information:

TravelChinaGuide.com

Wikipedia.com

CCTV.com

VIPKid Teacher Tags

Teacher tags are meant to help parents find teachers who will meet their expectations.

When a new teacher completes the hiring and mock class certification process, VIPKid adds up to five teacher tags to our profile. These tags are all positive, and they are meant to help parents find teachers who are a good fit for their child.

How do I know what my teacher tags are?

These are not visible anywhere on our profile; however, if you want to know what your teacher tags are, you can create a ticket in the support center, and VIPKid will tell you.

What tags are available?

I do not have the official list from VIPKid; however, I have something even better! Below is a list of possible teacher tags assembled by Ed Nace (and reprinted with permission.)

The list includes two types of tags. One is related to your academic expertise in the classroom, and the other is related to your personality. He lists an English translation of the tag, the actual Chinese characters/words, and then a basic explanation of the words since translations are not always true to the intention of the word. In case you aren’t familiar with Ed Nace (and why this list is awesome!) Ed and his family lived in China for eight years, and he is a veteran ESL teacher. He’s written some amazing books that help de-mystify Chinese culture, parent feedback, and teaching techniques. He’s saved me many times with his books. You can learn more at https://ednace.com/.

List and translations courtesy of Ed Nace. Learn more at ednace.com.

How many tags do I get?

Each teacher may have up to five tags assigned. If you have opened a ticket and have fewer than five, I do suggest adding more. Having a full set of tags will give the parents a more comprehensive view of your personality.

Should I change my teacher tags?

If you already have five, my answer is “probably not.” (This is my own personal opinion.) “But Amelia, you said in your Booking Boosters post that changing my tags could help me get bookings!” Yes, that is true; however, I suggest using it as a last resort if you have exhausted all other ideas and still aren’t getting bookings.

The reason I personally have chosen not to change my tags is that we may not have the same interpretation of our style as a Chinese parent would. For example, I think I am very detail-oriented. But compared to people in China, is that still true?

Years ago, I was very active in Toastmasters International. I participated in my local, area, and regional clubs and activities. I consistently got high scores in vocal variety, emotion, and intonation. I (and my Toastmasters peers) considered this one of my strong suits! However, I had the opportunity to speak in several Toastmasters meetings in the Philippines and in India. While they were very welcoming and provided positive feedback overall, vocal variety was my weakest area! Their perspectives and mine were simply not aligned because we were evaluating based on a different set of cultural norms.

Teacher tags are meant to help parents find teachers who will meet their expectations. If we accidentally mis-categorize ourselves since we are describing ourselves through an American lens, we are setting the parents up for potential disappointment. And disappointment could possibly lead to less than five apples. Because of that, I have chosen to leave my tags as applied by VIPKid. They know their parents better than I do!

I hope you found this helpful! Have you asked about your teacher tags? Were you surprised by them? Let me know in the comments!

Booking Boosters for VIPKid

If you are asking the question, “How can I get more VIPKid bookings?” You are not alone. And before I give any suggestions, let me assure you that you have not done anything wrong! There are many factors that can go into VIPKid bookings, and low bookings can affect any of us: new teachers, tenured teachers, and everyone in between! But don’t worry, there are some easy things that you can do that have the potential to help bring in bookings.

First, the “big 6” booking boosters that I’ve talked about before are:

  1. Be sure you are opening your schedule for the correct weeks. (If you’re fuzzy on the frenzy timing, review my post about VIPKid Booking Schedules.
  2. Review your profile picture.
  3. Review your featured photos and intro video.
  4. Take workshops.
  5. Add certifications (especially trials!)
  6. Open short notice bookings.

You can read more about all of these in my first post about bookings, Getting Bookings with VIPKid.

If you have tried all of those without luck, there are some other options.

Send e-cards to prior students.

Remember, e-cards go to students, not their parents, so just keep your audience in mind when you write them. A simple, “Hi Bao Bao! I enjoyed having class with you last month. I hope you are doing well. See you soon!” is sufficient. You don’t want to go into great detail about what times you are available to teach or anything. Just make it a fun card for your student. If you aren’t sure how to send an e-card, I have a walk-through here: How to Send an e-card with VIPKid.

Open a ticket for low bookings.

VIPKid will sometimes help teachers increase their bookings. In the support center, you can create a new ticket. There are a few different options. I would start with the first: Issue = No Booking or Issue = Low Booking. If you try this and have not had success in a week’s time, then I would open a second ticket: Issue = Teacher Voice. In either scenario, VIPKid can get your information over to Learning Partners who may be looking for a new teacher to recommend to their students. Be sure to include your teacher show name! (The one with the letters after it!)

Open your schedule further in advance.

Always be sure your schedule is open at least two weeks in advance. That is the standard window, and many parents try to rebook for two weeks out immediately following their last class. But if you can (and are sure you can teach!) then try to open a consistent schedule for at least a month in advance. If a parent is looking for a “regular” teacher who can teach their child on an ongoing basis, they will want to be sure that your schedules are compatible.

Participate in VIPKid promotional activities.

VIPKid often offers different promotions that can help get your profile in front of parents. The current activity that is in its last few weeks this August (2019) is the Teacher Showroom. It’s an opportunity to upload an additional short video. As of August 13, VIPKid said they had 4,000 entries. While this seems like a lot, 4,000 out of around 70,000 teachers is not that many. Less than 6 percent of VIPKid’s teachers participated, so if new parents are scrolling through trying to find their perfect match, you’ve just increased your odds of being seen!

Check your teacher tags.

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of this technique. (Check out VIPKid Teacher Tags to see why.) But if all else fails, you could consider opening a ticket regarding your teacher tags. When you go through your interview and mock classes, certain “tags” are added to your profile that are visible to teachers. I have not ever seen any official information from VIPKid on these, but I’ve heard that you can have up to five attached to your profile. The general idea is that parents can see areas of specialty or personality traits to help decide if you will be a good fit for their child. There are a few things you can do with teacher tags to potentially affect your bookings.

  1. First, you need to submit a ticket to get a list of your teacher tags. They are not visible to us, but VIPKid will tell you via ticket.
  2. Next, if you don’t have five, you can request to add a fifth.
  3. Finally, If you feel that the tags are not representative of your personality, you can request to change them. No tags should really have more benefit than others; however, it is possible that if your tags are not aligned with your real teaching style, it could impact repeat bookings.

Reach out to parents on social media.

If you use WeChat or Weibo, you can post something for parents to see. Be sure that it translates well to Chinese and that it’s respectful. I have even seen teachers post about specific days: “I have several classes available on Friday! What students will I see?” You could gently suggest that parents consider recommending you to their friends.

There is no “one right way” to get bookings with VIPKid, but I hope you have found these suggestions helpful.

Have you tried any of these techniques? Let me know how they worked in the comments!

And of course, if you are a new teacher I would be happy to help. You can get started right away with the VIPKid application and I will be happy to answer any questions I can. Happy teaching!

VIPKid Week 2 and the Early Months

Remember that everyone’s VIPKid journey is different. No two teachers will ever have the exact same schedule or experience, and that’s ok!

You’ve made it through the gauntlet we know as the VIPKid hiring process. You got the elusive “first booking.” Maybe you had several bookings! And then … what?

This post is designed to help fill in the blanks for what comes next.

Open your schedule.

Students and their parents have the opportunity to book you again right after class. Make sure you have the next two weeks open to fully take advantage of this! I usually include my availability in the future when I send my feedback.

For example, “In our next lesson, I would like to keep working with Bao Bao on “this” and “that.” I have a fun game that I think he will enjoy that will help reinforce this. If you would like to book our next class, I have this same time available next week! Thank you! Teacher Amelia U

Check for feedback.

If you haven’t gotten any, don’t sweat it! (Everyone is different. Check here to see How does your VIPKid apple rating measure up?) If you did get feedback, I encourage you to respond to it. (You can do this through the PC App or the web portal, but not by phone.) I’m sure it’s positive, 5-apple feedback and so a simple thank you is sufficient. A few options I’ve used are:

  • Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback. Receiving positive feedback is very important to VIPKid teachers, and I really appreciate it!
  • Thank you for the 5-apple feedback! Bao Bao did a great job in class, and I can’t wait to see him again!
  • Thank you for leaving me 5-apples! I appreciate your feedback and I hope to see Bao Bao soon. If you would like to schedule another class, I am available next Friday!

If for some reason it isn’t 5-apple feedback, resist the urge to be confrontational in a response. You can see how to dispute bad feedback here.

Send e-cards to students you want to rebook!

The feedback is your way of communicating with parents. E-cards are your way to communicate with the students. With that in mind, stay away from scheduling conversation and keep it high level and positive.

  • I had fun in our class last week Bao Bao! Are you doing your homework? I hope to see you in class soon! – Teacher Amelia U
  • I hope you enjoyed our class last week! Next time I have a fun Ultraman game that we can play while you learn English. See you soon! – Teacher Amelia U

Always use your teacher show name.

You may have noticed in both my feedback and e-cards I used my show name (that name with the initial after it.) This is just in case the parents have lost me in the sea of teachers and don’t know how to find me TO rebook. When little Bao Bao shows them the adorable e-card that I sent them, it will remind them and they can find me to rebook!

Watch your replay.

Did you know you can go back into the PC App and watch your class replay? It won’t be available immediately, but it is usually there a few hours after class. Watch the replay with an open mind, and ask yourself:

  • What did I do well?
  • What should I do differently?
  • Did it look like I was having fun?
  • Did it look like my student was having fun?
  • How much time was I talking? (Remember, our goal is to have the student talk 50-80% of the time, depending on their level!)
  • Were there times that I cut off my student before they could fully answer?
  • How was my timing?
  • Did I use a good mixture of props to help enhance the learning?

I like referring to the Teacher Applicant Performance Indicator during the playback. Even though it’s intended to help during the hiring process, I find it’s a useful self-evaluation tool as well.

Then based on your own self-evaluation…

Take workshops.

I know by this point you are probably tired of hearing me say that. BUT, even if you took workshops prior to teaching classes (good for you!) you did not have any real experience to build on. If you found yourself struggling in a particular area as you watched your playback, you can go to a workshop with that class in mind and perhaps learn tools and techniques to adjust. It will also show VIPKid that you are taking your own self-improvement seriously and that you want to be the very best teacher possible.

If you aren’t sure where to go to find workshops then check out the VIPKid Library and Certification Center. You’ll be amazed!

Contact the learning partner (if appropriate.)

Last but not least, if you have any meaningful feedback on the students, it can also help to send feedback to the learning partner. You can do this at the time of the class through the class feedback (in the very bottom section.) But you can also do this via a ticket in the support center. I’ve seen some teachers asking on social media, “What do I say to the learning partner?” If you have to ask that question, it’s a good sign that you should not be sending in a ticket. It is a waste of your time and theirs to send feedback with nothing meaningful to say. But if you do have something (positive or negative) that you feel is important, then this is a good way to start building relationships with the LP’s. You probably won’t hear back, but if they pass along your feedback to the parents, you could get a repeat booking. Or the LP could book you for other students.

No matter what, remember that everyone’s VIPKid journey is different. No two teachers will ever have the exact same schedule or experience, and that’s ok! Remember to have fun and focus on your students, and everything else will fall into place.

If you have questions or suggestions of your own, please let me know in the feedback!

Happy teaching!

VIPKid Student No-Shows

Other than the required time to wait in the classroom, there are not a lot of hard and fast rules from VIPKid about student no-shows.

You’re awake! You’re caffeinated! You’re prepped! You are ready to begin class. But where’s Bao Bao?

Sometimes your student will not show up for class. It happens to all of us.  When this happens to you, here are a few things to remember!

Should I “start class” even if the student is not there?

Yes! Always start class a few seconds before your scheduled time to ensure you get credit for beginning on time.

How long do I need to stay in class if my student is not there?

For all classes except trial classes, you must stay in class for the full 25 minutes unless a fireman has contacted you to tell you that you may leave.  For trial classes, you must stay in class for 15 minutes.

Do I need to contact the fireman if my student isn’t in the classroom at the scheduled time?

No.  While some parents do like this (and would like for VIPKid to call them if their child is not in class) it is not required to contact the fireman. The only time I call the fireman is if it’s a very regular student who rarely or never misses class and I’m worried.

Do I need to screenshot the classroom for a student no-show?

I recommend it. Usually, I take a screenshot every 2-5 minutes while waiting on a student. So far I have never had to use them, but should there be any discrepancy in finish type, I can prove that I was in the classroom for the full required time. I usually type in the chatbox “Waiting on student – X minutes.” at each interval.

Can I leave the classroom while I am waiting?

No. You are being paid, and there is always a chance that the student may arrive late.

Can I cover my camera while I am waiting?

There is no formal VIPKid policy on this. Some teachers choose to turn their camera off. Some have created a screen cover that shows an image but not their face. I personally choose to leave my camera on. I don’t ever want there to be a discrepancy where a parent claims I am not in my classroom and I was. Personally, I find it a great time to check out the AR stickers in the classroom and spend some time blogging!

Should I send an e-card to my student after they do not come to class?

Again, this is a matter of personal preference. I usually do. There is a “missed connection” e-card that’s perfect, but if you prefer the free ones, there is also a generic one. I generally say, “I missed seeing you in class, Bao Bao! I hope everything is ok and I will see you soon! Love – Teacher Amelia”

Will I still get paid for a student no-show?

Yes! For trial classes, you get paid 50% of your class fee. For MC or Supplementary classes, you get paid the full amount. If you would like to minimize the chance of a trial class no-show, you can opt into the trial class rebooking option that allows a trial class student to be replaced up to 15 minutes after the beginning of class.

If a class is marked as “finished” before it ever begins, do I need to enter the classroom?

No. Parents are allowed to cancel a class up to 24 hours before the class with no penalty. However, if they cancel within 24 hours, they must still pay for the class (and you will still get paid for it!) In that situation, the class will be marked as “finished” and greyed out on your bookings calendar. You do not need to attend class in those situations.

Other than the required time to wait in the classroom, there are not a lot of hard and fast rules from VIPKid about student no-shows. I hope you found this helpful. If you have questions, please let me know in the comments!

If you are looking to get started with VIPKid and want someone to help walk you through the process, I would be happy to be your mentor.

Happy teaching (or not, if they are a no-show!)

martin 6-26-19 - 8 minutes

Your VIPKid Bio

There are 60,000+ other teachers out there. You want your bio to be short, direct, and easy to read.

The old saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression.” With VIPKid, your first impression to parents is your bio, video, and profile pictures.

In this blog post, I’m going to share a few tips to help make your bio stand out to prospective parents and students.

Qualifications & Basic Info

Put your unique information at the beginning of your bio.

What do you think sets you apart from other teachers? Is it your classroom experience? Are you a zookeeper who likes to bring animals into class? Whatever it is that makes you special should be highlighted at the beginning of your bio. Remember, everyone who teaches for VIPKid has a bachelor’s degree, so unless it is in a field that could specifically relate to teaching their child English, I would place it at the end. (Mine is in communications, so I left it toward the beginning.)

Limit the information you share about your university.

I don’t think most parents are very familiar with the states, much less all of the universities within them. Unless you have a degree with from a very well known, internationally acclaimed university, I would stick to the basics.

Avoid nicknames.

You should use your show name (so parents can find you again) and your classroom name (what students will see in class.) I started out thinking that my nickname would be easier for a child to say. While this is true, if they don’t see it anywhere, it will be hard to remember, and they might also get confused.

Grammar & Punctuation

Use simple but precise words.

Spend some time thinking about the exact meaning you want to communicate.  Many parents may not speak English, so it is important that the words translate correctly.

For example, one teacher said, “I like to make my students smile and laugh.” In one translation, that turned into “I like to make my students smile and smile.” Perhaps a better sentence would be “I like to have fun in class,” which translated to “I like to have fun in the classroom.”

Limit compound and complex compound sentences.

Sometimes these will translate fine. Sometimes they won’t. If you can communicate your idea in multiple simple sentences, it will be easier for your parents and their students to understand.

Avoid parenthesis.

If something is worth mentioning, it’s worth having it’s own sentence. I am particularly bad at this and I use them far too often. (I really do.) I’ve read that if removing the parenthetical phrase changes the meaning of a sentence, then the phrase should not be in parenthesis.

Avoid slang, excess punctuation, or other things that could cause confusion.

Remember, your readers do not know American culture. They do not know our slang. Things that might make a sentence cute or add emphasis to a native-speaker could just confuse someone with English as a second language.

For example, if I were writing to someone who lived near me, I might say, “I grew up in the rolling hills of Missouri, but I have lived in Mississippi for the last 11 years, y’all. Hotty Toddy!!!”  There are a few problems with this for my bio:

  • Parents probably don’t know where Missouri and Mississippi are, nor can they visualize the lovely rolling hills of the Ozark mountains. So for them, it’s just extra words that could cause them to lose interest.
  • “Y’all,” though endearing to those in the south, is probably going to confuse them. It’s slang and would require explanation, at best. It could also be seen as incorrect grammar unless you happen to live in the south. 🙂
  • “Hotty Toddy” is an even more select form of jargon. If you aren’t familiar with the University of Mississippi, you probably won’t even know what that means, so it comes across as jibberish.
  • The extra exclamation points could be seen as punctuation errors, not enthusiasm.

If I were writing something for a local audience here, the above example would be fine. But I’m writing for parents in China who want me to teach their child correct English.

Other Tips

Keep it short.

There are 60,000+ other teachers out there. You want your bio to be short, direct, and easy to read. If it’s too long, your prospective parents may lose interest.

Let your parents know what to expect.

If you have been teaching ESL for a while, maybe there is something that parents would like (or not like.) By including it in your bio, you are more likely to attract parents whose styles and preferences fit your own. I chose to include that I use technology in my classroom because I’m a big fan of Google Slides.  I also included that I write detailed feedback. If a parent doesn’t like those two characteristics, it’s better that they find another teacher. There are plenty of parents who do appreciate this!

Run it through a Chinese translator and back again.

No, I don’t do this with feedback I write, unless I have something that is an unusual sentence structure or wording. But for something as important and lasting as a bio, I do. Sometimes when English is translated, the words change just enough to change the meaning of what you are trying to convey. I worry less about grammatical errors in the translation because these are sometimes very difficult to correct. But I want to ensure the meaning is accurate. You can use any online translator. I usually use google translate just because it’s so easy to use.

To give you an example of how I’ve put these into play with my own bio, here’s an example of my before and after:

Before: Hello! My name is Amelia, but your child can call me Teacher Amy! I am happy to meet you, and I’m excited to get to know your child. I have a bachelor’s degree in communications from Missouri State University, and I was a corporate trainer for customer service for many years. I love traveling, and have spent the most time in India, the Philippines, and Honduras. My favorite experience was working with children in Honduras. They loved teaching me Spanish, and I loved teaching them English! My goal is to help your child learn English, and to help them have fun at the same time. I look forward to working with you and your child!

After: Hello! My name is Amelia. I am very happy to meet your child! I have a degree in communications, and I have been a company trainer for many years. I like to travel, and I have spent the most time in India, the Philippines and Honduras. My favorite experience was working with the children of Honduras. They enjoyed teaching me Spanish while I taught them English! My goal is to help your child learn English by teaching grammar, pronunciation and conversation skills. I also hope that they can have fun at the same time, and I use technology in the classroom to help achieve this. I usually write very detailed feedback after class because I know that your child will continue to learn and practice at the end of the lesson. I want to help you continue to work with your child. I look forward to meeting your family! Thank you, Teacher Amelia U

I hope you found this helpful. What other tips do you have for writing great bios? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!

If you are a new teacher and looking for someone to help guide you through this process, I would love to be your mentor!

If you are looking for an objective critique of your profile (bio, pictures, video) you can also check out the facebook group VIPKid: Marketing Yourself Online.

It’s a great group of people who can give you constructive feedback as you look to improve your profile.

Happy teaching!