A typical day in my life as an English teacher

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a typical day in my life as an English teacher


I was fortunate to have a week's holiday and spent them with my family (although it wasn't relaxing due to my house, which was still being renovated). It was nice to stop staring at my computer screen and engage more in real life with my kids.

I also enjoyed cooking and having a nap during the holiday. It was such a treat for me!

However, 10-day off flew by, and here I am, working in front of my computer and getting ready to start my classes in Zoom Meeting. Well, money doesn't grow on trees.

How I spend my day as a teacher and a mum 


Since I work for an English language school in Indonesia, my teaching schedule is utterly different from formal school teachers. Here, formal school teachers start working from 7 to 3 (I guess?) whereas my classes begin in the afternoon until late at night.

So how do I manage my time, juggling between being a mother of three kids and a teacher? Let's dive deeper and see how I do it.

Tackling all house chores in the morning


This is the time of the day when I try to finish all the house chores, from cleaning the house (read: picking up toys, making the bed, sweeping, and mopping the floor) to cooking.

I usually get up at 5 AM to pray Subuh. Then, I will start my day by doing laundry. You wouldn't believe how many clothes I have to wash in this family!

At around 6, I have a quick break, sipping my hot tea while supervising my husband washing the dishes. Yes, it's one of the house chores he agrees to do besides hanging clothes. We usually chat about our day and any plans we want to make on that day until he leaves for work at 7 AM.

The kids usually get up around 6.30-ish and demand breakfast. Breakfast is messy in my house. Sometimes my oldest son cooks breakfast for all of us.

spending morning with kids and doing house chores

Deniz (that's my oldest one) starts his online school at 7, while Zinan (that's the second one) usually reads books or practises his handwriting. Since Zinan is homeschooled, his schedule is pretty flexible, making it possible for me to take care of the little one.

Noon and preparing for classes


It's lunchtime! Most of the time, I start cooking around 11-ish. But when Syafiq is a bit cranky, we will have a late lunch. Later, the kids will have playtime, and it's my time to check on my teaching schedule and see which classes I should prepare for today.

Lately, I've had fewer classes to teach as my School Manager wants me to focus on helping other teachers develop their skills, especially when considering hybrid courses. Despite that, I still take lesson planning seriously and find fun and engaging activities for my classes.

Thank God now there are a bunch of websites dedicated to helping teachers deliver the lessons! One of my favourites is Twinkl. It's a website created in 2010 by a couple Jonathan dan Susie Seaton, who wanted to help 'those who teach' by providing educational resources.

Today, Twinkl has become the number 1 provider of teaching materials globally, with more than 700,000 trusted and high-quality materials that help teachers and parents with education and the development of their children.

Have a look at some great activities during the school holiday I did with my kids in this blog post!



Syafiq's nap time is around 2, so I'd stop all activities and have a quick nap with him. I do find sparing some time to nap help boost my energy which I need to survive until the last class.

Depending on my weekly schedule, I can start my first class at 3 PM or 4 PM. Even sometimes, my first class of the day will not begin until 6 PM. This is a treat for me as I can relax and have more time with my kids.

Evening


This is the time when I get swamped! Dinnertime usually clashes with my evening classes, so I rely on my husband to prepare dinner for the kids. Unfortunately, he's been working late, so I occasionally have to feed the little one while teaching!

Luckily, my students are very understanding, and they don't mind if Syafiq suddenly appears on the webcam.

Evening classes are mostly adult classes (Business English, Conversation, and General English) and exam preparation classes (TOEFL and IELTS). I find adult students are more manageable compared to children. Probably because we can talk about more diverse topics, from the weather to the latest celebrity gossips.


One of my IELTS classes.

It's 9 PM, and it's a wrap! The last class is finished but I, of course, still have other things to do. Once I end the Zoom Meeting, I will change clothes and put the kids in bed. This takes around 1-1.5 hours.

I will start working and preparing for my classes the next day, right after the kids are asleep. I'm glad that I've collected various materials over the past 10 years and categorised them into levels and ages so I can quickly select the resources needed for my lessons (I'll write about how I do this on my next blog post!)

What time do I sleep? It depends on whether I've got deadlines or not. As a blogger, I periodically work very late to write my blog post, take photos, and even record a video. I've been attempting to do batch writing, but I haven't got the grasp of it, hopefully soon!

Work hard, play hard:  How to balance work life and family


I know it seems too much to carry all these commitments for some people. By hey, I'm relishing it, and I've learnt to recognise signs when I have burnout.

Although I'm teaching on Saturdays, I ask my School Manager for only one class. That way, I have the rest of the day devoted to my kids and family. Sunday is indeed a no-work day. I will turn off my computer and put my mobile as far as possible to not be tempted to check it.

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All in all, I always remind myself that being a mother is my primary role in this life. No matter how passionate I am about teaching, family always comes first.

How about you, fellow teachers? How do you manage your time, especially when working from home? Share your thoughts in the comment below, will you?

Thanks for reading!

Adapting to teaching online

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It's been 2 years since the first covid-19 case appeared in China. Since then, everybody's life has been completely changed 180 degrees, including mine.

From offline to online classes

The way teachers deliver the lesson has turned upside down too. Before the pandemic, teachers can meet and interact with students face-to-face in the classroom. Now, we are forced to meet our students from online meeting platforms such as Zoom Meeting, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet.

Obviously, there are certain things that teachers cannot do while teaching online, and these have become a struggle for many teachers, even for those who are experienced.

Some may say that I enjoy this new situation where we teach online. Well, let me tell you, there are moments when I desperately want to scream in frustration (FYI, I did this a couple of times after making sure my microphone is mute and my camera is turned off., LOL).

Adapting to teaching online.

As teachers, we must continually dare ourselves and upgrade our skills. With the pandemic, teachers are challenged to learn and adapt to the new situation. Unfortunately, some teachers need more time adapting to this new situation while other teachers who are pretty used to technology find it easier to adjust.

How teachers can adapt to online teaching

Here are some things you as an educator can do to adapt to the virtual environment.

Familiarise yourself with the technology

I can say that I could adjust to this new way of teaching considerably quickly. Thanks to my dad, who provided me and my brothers computers and gadgets when we were kids. As the Academic Team Leader, I have helped (until now) teachers in my school deal with technical issues. From how to share the screen in Zoom Meeting to creating engaging lessons for online classes.

However, not all of us are tech-savvy. That said, it is essential to familiarise yourself with all the educational tools and platforms. You need to learn the ropes of whatever platforms you are using. Go to Youtube and watch the tutorials or ask for your colleague's help.

Be realistic with your teaching goals.

I have to admit, teaching online does have some issues which affect my lesson's aims and classroom management. Let's see internet connection as one of the examples. When the connection isn't stable, either my connection or students', like it or not, I have to adjust the time, allowing students to have more time to do the tasks. As a result, I sometimes cannot finish what I'm planning.

Therefore, you need to be realistic with our lessons' aims. There will be times when you have to split the lesson into two meetings in online classes. It's perfectly okay. Just remember, your students are the priority. It's better to extend the lesson so that students can grasp and understand it well.

Be creative with your teaching resources.

One of the struggles many teachers face is how to use traditional resources they have in an online environment. I'm personally very grateful to teachers worldwide who generously share their ideas and teaching resources. They have opened a gate of new ideas, and I can proudly say I have made several worksheets too.

When I conducted a teachers' sharing session in my school, almost all teachers said they didn't know which resources to use. Others said they spent hours searching for the perfect worksheet on the internet or creating worksheets to suit their lessons.

What I can say is that you need to take advantage of your resources. Find a way to blend the traditional learning worksheets with the newer, more collaborative tools. For example, I use Google Jamboard a lot in my classes because I can quickly put the traditional paper worksheet into Jamboard for students to do. Now, there are many websites that provide online worksheets and allow you to create one too.



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One thing to bear in mind is that students are also struggling with the transition. Therefore, we need to put students on the top of our priority list. Whatever the lesson is and how it is delivered, make sure we keep it lively and straightforward

How about you, teachers? How do you adjust your teaching in the virtual environment? Let's share in the comment!

How I started my teaching career

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how i started my career as an english teacher


Hi there!

I've just realised that I actually own this blog! Life's been busy lately! Most of the time, I focus on my beauty and lifestyle blog www.talkativetya.com and my family and parenting blog www.keluargaaditya.com.

So I guess I need to spare some time to update this blog. Hehehe.

I remember I created this blog because I wanted to share about my teaching journey. I first started my teaching career back then in 2009 when I was still at uni.

It all started when I bumped into my English course teacher, Ms. Ika. We were pretty close, and I could say that she's my role model (until now!). When I stopped taking the course (because the course's schedule didn't fit with my college's schedule), we lost contact. FYI, this happened in 2003.

In 2009, Facebook connected us. We had a chat and caught up with what had been happening in our lives. At that time, I was in my last year of college and was teaching Biology for IGCSE and A/AS Level in SMAN 21 Jakarta. She was surprised! She said, "I don't believe that we are actually working close by!' Apparently, she was an ILP Rawamangun principal, and our schools were very close.

After long chats, out of the blue, she offered me a job as a part-time teacher in her school. I was stupefied. I didn't think I had the skills or knowledge to be a teacher. I was already a teacher, but I taught Biology, which was my major at uni. Teaching English? I was not sure I could do that.

She basically cajoled me into taking her offer. She said that she knew I was capable. After discussing this with my parents, I decided to accept her offer.

It had never crossed my mind that being an English teacher would be my career. But here I am, in 2021, still teaching English and enjoying every single minute of it.

how I started my career as an ESL teacher
Clockwise: Speaker for IELTS webinar, I and my students in Children class and Corporate class, I conducted teacher's workshop.   


So I guess I have to thank my beloved Ms. Ika for having faith in me.

How about you folks? How did you start your career? Share your story in the comment!

Until I see you in my next post!

Cheers,

Tya

Teaching Children

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Hello to all teachers! 

Welcome to my blog! In this post, I'll share my experience in teaching children. Here you go!

Teaching children means that you have to control your emotion. They love to make noise, jump, scream, shout, sing, dance, even if you don't ask them to do that. Teaching children means that you have to be VERY PATIENT! Show your lovely face to them. Don't you ever show your hesitation face or your sour face! Once you do this, they'll reject you as their friend. 

teaching children with toys
Mr. Benny Bear is loved by my students.


I believe some of you still remember Mr. Benny Bear. I used Mr. Benny Bear when I did the Peer Teaching: Teaching Children, and now I'm using Mr. Benny Bear as my class ritual for my Green 3 students. They love Mr. Benny Bear so much! They love interacting with Mr. Benny Bear, especially when they have to help me wake Mr. Benny Bear up. 

So, how about you, teachers? Have you got some tips on teaching? Just share with me so we can be better teachers in the future! See ya! 

Cheers,
Tya

Teenagers in the Classroom (1)

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teacing english as second language to teenager

Noisy and laughing every time, that’s my teenager class!

There are 13 students in my class. They’re about 12-14 years old and in their first and second year in junior high school. When my principal gave me this class, I was afraid I couldn’t handle them, but she encouraged me that I could. Then, after I met them, I fell in love with them! Even sometimes they make me crazy!

I find there are some problems teaching teenagers. Since they’re in their puberty, you’ll face some refusals, especially when you pair or group them with other students. For example, a girl student will refuse to be in pair with the boy and vice versa. As a teacher, you’ll also get protests from the student when you ask them to do some tasks or explain something, but they disagree with it. Actually, all of these can be a severe problem if you don’t know how to handle them.

So, how to cope with these problems, miss?

Well, there’re some tips on how to handle these problems.

Be their friend, but….

It sounds easy but actually not that easy. You have to find out what students like and don’t like. Try to listen to their songs, read their favourite books, follow the latest trend, and anything related to their life like school, computer games, and so on. From there, you can start a good conversation with them, and they will feel that you really give them attention. As a result, you’ll get their heart and build a good teacher-student relationship. But be careful! Even though you’re their friend, it doesn’t mean that you can give them the freedom to do whatever they want.

Discipline them!

Even you’re very close to your students, you can’t let them break the rules! There should be a clear boundary between you as a teacher and as a friend. Always remind them about the rules and the punishments you’ve made since the first meeting, e.g. punctuation, behaviour, clothes, etc. If they break the rules, give them punishment. Don’t spoil them! Sometimes, you let them break the rules as a new teacher because you want to take their heart. Be careful, teacher! This can be the start of chaos in your class. Strict to your rules! Although you’re a new teacher, show them that you’re the leader.

To be continued...