I recently had an amazing teaching moment at VIPKID. It was one of those moments that remind you what teaching is all about. The class didn’t start so well. Just as class started, my little four year old student spilled his bottle of water. I’m not sure exactly what was said, but I heard adult Chinese voices in frenzy. I’m assuming the conversation was something along the lines of: “Move the iPad! Don’t let it get wet! Don’t you know you can’t have water near the iPad?!” Either way, within just a few short seconds, my student was quietly sobbing and not ready to start class.
My immediate reaction would be to hug him and tell him it’s okay. But, how can I do that from the other side of the world when his English is very limited?! I did tell him it’s okay in the most soothing voice I could. Then Dino came in and said hi, (this student usually loves to see Dino). He was still very sad. I played around with the AR stickers for about a minute. After a couple, I asked, “are you ready?” He shook his head no. So, we played with a few more stickers (he did really like the panda on his head). The next time I asked, “are you ready?” He gave a tiny hint of a smile and nodded.
Class proceeded as usual (of course it was an assessment). But my student was well prepared. He knew all the vocabulary being assessed as well as other vocabulary. He did a great job and even wrote letters and a couple of simple words for me. At the end of class, he switched roles and started asking me questions about the words. “What is this teacher?”
Time was up and we sang the goodbye song. Then he did the most adorable thing ever. He started repeating “good job teacher” and showing me two thumbs up. When I reminded him to do his homework, he cheered! Knowing that he went from a silent sob at the beginning of class to cheering me up in less than 25 minutes is amazing. I will admit, I got into the files and make a video of his gesture. From now on, when I’m feeling a bit down, I’m going to watch this precious little boy from the other side of the world tell me “good job teacher”!