October 2020 Awardees: Our Virtual Educators – Embracing the New Learning Trend

by Marianne Maneja

At the beginning of the 21st century, the digital world seemed like futuristic, far-off fantasies. Now, technology has evolved and made our lives easier and more convenient in any possible way. Cellphones, cameras, computers, household appliances, gaming consoles and whatever else are really upgrading every year. Today, we are seeing the change of trends because of technology in almost all sectors and the case is no different in the field of education. 

Let’s have On-line English learning as an example. 

Billions of people around the world are learning the English language not only as a hobby but also for economic growth. That is why millions of people see the opportunities in online English teaching. 

The Philippines is recognized globally as one of the largest English-speaking nations. As a result, Filipino online-English teachers are very in demand nowadays. For some of them, they see this opportunity to earn money for living, others are doing it as a part-time job to earn extra. But for many, they see that  teaching English online is their chosen profession like most of our tutors here in Envizion Philippines.

Sharing to you some tutors who are really dedicated and passionate in teaching that made them our October 2020 tutor awardees.

Dannah Mae Iducos – Group General Tutor Awardee  

Threscia Fe Reyes – Group Ripple Tutor Awardee

Cyra Fe De La Cruz – Group Ripple Tutor Awardee

MelMar Baylin – Group Asteria Tutor Awardee

Stephanie Queen Gerodico – Group General Tutor Awardee

Shiel Galangke – Group General Tutor Awardee

Let’s find out how they fell in love with teaching online and their journey on becoming amazing English teachers. 

DANNAH MAE IDUCOS

Dannah has been a licensed teacher since 2016. She also worked with some projects in Envizion Philippines Inc. like Online-English Teaching seminar and Envizion Bootcamp and one of the Envizion Cultural Exchange Program Ambassadors.

1. How did you start online teaching? 

I started online teaching when I joined Envizion as a full-time English tutor.

Before joining the company, I had no experience in online teaching, so it was very new to me. I only knew how to teach in a classroom setting because I am a teacher by profession.

2. What do you love most about teaching online? 

What I love the most about teaching online is definitely the convenience of it. You can teach anywhere as long as you have a good internet connection and a conducive environment for teaching. With the right tools like good quality noise-canceling headphones and noise-canceling applications, you are good to go. Apart from being convenient, it also expands the horizon for teaching because we are no longer limited by the four corners of a classroom. 

3. Will you recommend online teaching as a job? Why? 

Yes. I would recommend online teaching as a job because it is convenient and you have control over your time and resources. Online teaching has changed my outlook on teaching because it has taught me many things and has widened my horizons about learning. As the advancement of technology broadens, the traditional way of learning is becoming more updated and changing.

We are no  longer succumbing to old ways of teaching and learning but rather adjusting and changing to become more modern. I believe the current situation today proves that education can continue despite the pandemic. Learning continues with the use of technology and with that jobs and businesses will thrive as well. So, in many ways being an online teacher doesn’t mean your job is mediocre but rather value-adding and meaningful. 

3. Can you share challenges while teaching and how did you handle it?

The most challenging part of teaching is to keep the lesson interesting and fun for the students. Being part of Group Ripple is quite challenging because most of my students are toddlers and beginners, so their attention span is really short and I had to find ways to make the lesson more fun for them.

I’ve done some research about kids’ nature and behavior and it helped me adjust accordingly. I came up with different fun ways to encourage my students to engage themselves in class.

For example, I made puppet letters out of colored paper and made a lot of sweets as rewards. To make my class more lively, I sing nursery rhymes and dance with my students.

THRESCIA FE REYES

Threscia Fe graduated from Maritime Senior Highschool.

Envizion Philippines Inc. gave her biggest opportunity to be an English tutor. It’s her first job.  

1. How did you start online teaching?

I started online teaching in Envizion Philippines last year 2019. I heard about Envizion Philippines online and joined their free seminar. It was very helpful because I got to know more about the online teaching work environment and understood the company’s mission and vision. I really love teaching and I liked the online teaching platform. It’s interesting and new. After I have undergone company training and got equipped with all the information and knowledge about different online teaching styles. I started teaching Young learners and Professionals.

It was quite challenging at first with all the adjustments, but eventually I enjoyed the challenges and applied everything that I learned from our training to accommodate students’ needs. It’s very fulfilling to help my students improve their knowledge about the English language.

2. What do you love the most about teaching online?

What I love the most about teaching online is that I get to interact with different types of learners every day. It’s very interesting because each learner requires different assistance, so I was able to practice flexibility and discovered different ways to handle situations accordingly. The changing challenges every day made teaching online more fun.

CYRA FE DE LA CRUZ 

Cyra Fe has been teaching online since 2014. Since then, she chose Online-English teaching as her profession. Cyra Fe earned several awards in Envizion that includes FTL Conversion Ratio Award, FTL Lesson Satisfaction Award, Most Valuable Tutor Award, FTL Hall of Fame Award and Group Ripple Award.

1. How did you start online teaching?

I used to work as an online English tutor in a Korean company. The agency of the hotel where I used to work as front desk clerk offered me this job after my resignation. They asked me if I am interested in it. At first, I was a bit hesitant since it’s something new for me; I have doubts if  I can really teach online especially that I have no background and experience in teaching. So, I asked my mom if it’s okay for me to try online teaching. She told me that I will never know if I can do something or not if I won’t try it. So, I accepted the offer and applied. Since then, I already enjoyed teaching online.

2. What do you love most about teaching online?

My students are young learners. For 8 hours every day, my classes are full of animal sounds, colors, laughter, songs and smiles which make my week so exciting and fun. I really love it because it makes me remember my pre-school and elementary years; it’s like I am back to being a kid again. What makes it even more interesting is that most of my students’ parents join the fun; they sing, dance or play with us before or after the lesson which I really enjoy listening and watching. These gestures help boost my students’ confidence more and make them feel comfortable in class.

3. Will you recommend online teaching as a job? Why?  

Yes. Online teaching is a great opportunity for someone to teach students using various learning styles and different approaches; make the class more interesting and engaging. Unlike in a traditional classroom setting, in an online class, we can encourage the students to actively participate and interact more since it is going to be just a one on one class; they won’t be easily distracted. There will be a good collaboration between the parents and the tutor. It’s also a great opportunity for someone who really wants to boost their confidence when it comes to speaking in English to different kinds of people online or offline.

HALL OF FAME

4. Can you share challenges while teaching online and how did you handle it? 

One of the challenges that I encountered is sustaining the energy level in teaching everyday. Because there were times where I felt already tired and sleepy in the middle of the day. Teaching in this state can greatly affect a tutor’s performance as well as the quality of the lesson. So, in order to avoid this incident from happening over and over again, I adjusted my lifestyle. I started to sleep early and I see to it that I would have enough rest. In doing so, this helps me recharge and refresh myself.

5. Why would you recommend online teaching as a career or job? 

I recommend this as a career/job because it is convenient, less stressful and I guess this will be the new trend in the years to come given the changes in our times and the advancement of technology. 

MEL MAR BAYLIN

Melmar is a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy graduate. He was a manager in a fast food chain but later, he started to like teaching when he first taught in a small ESL company and now with Envizion Philippines Inc.

1. What teaching strategies can you share to others that you think made you one of Envizion’s Hall of fame?

I don’t really have any specific teaching strategies. All I can say is that just love what you do, be passionate and have that sense of purpose in doing it and everything will follow.  

2. What is something that you think you have that makes you an effective online teacher? 

I am just an average tutor. And to be honest, other  tutors are way better than me in terms of teaching, knowledge and speaking the English language. But I guess what makes me become one of the  effective online teachers is that this career has become part of my purpose in life. That sense of purpose en-kindles love for what I do and motivates me to do my best even if it’s tiring and challenging  at times.

3. What goal do you want to achieve as an online English teacher?

As an online English teacher I want to be the bridge in my student’s life. Each of them studies English with a specific goal/reason. That being said,  there is  this huge gap between them and their goals in life.  And I want to be that bridge that would help them cross that gap, until they will finally reach their goals.

STEPHANIE QUEEN GERODICO

After graduating with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Education Major in English, Stephanie grabbed the opportunity in Envizion Philippines Inc. to be an On-line English teacher and gave her an opportunity to be an equipped On-line tutor. 

1. What teaching strategies can you share to others that you think made you one of Envizion’s Hall of fame?

I think the strategy that got me to the Hall of Fame is Rapport Building. Simple as it sounds but I always believed that first impressions last.

2. What is something that you think you have that makes you an effective online teacher? 

 I try to be as accommodating as possible. I always ask for confirmation or if they want clarification. I make them comfortable as if they were just talking to their friend but they learn at the same time. 90% of the time, these students become my friends and I would know their daily routine because of how they would freely discuss their daily life. 

3. What goal do you want to achieve as an online English teacher? 

The goal that I want to achieve as an online English teacher is to improve myself and become a better teacher in the future. I want to learn about the individuality and difference of cultures. I am hoping that I can learn another language. 

4. Can you share challenges while teaching online and how did you handle it?

I remember when I was still a newbie, I had an advanced student and we had a business English lesson. I have a very shallow knowledge about business and we had to discuss terms that I have never heard before. I was very nervous so I opened his material 30 mins. before we started and I researched the meaning of the terms and prepared myself for the possible questions. I was already ready but 5 mins. Before the lesson time, the student cancelled. I was relieved but at the same time I was disappointed because I prepared for nothing but I just said to myself. “Well, at least I added something to my vocabulary.” 

5. Will you recommend online teaching as a job? Why? 

Yes. I recommend online teaching as a job because it offers teachers a less stressful and safer way of earning. With the pandemic, I remain safe in the comforts of my home and I can still provide for my needs. 

3. What goal do you want to achieve as an online English teacher?

As an online English Teacher my goal is to always give the best learning experience to my students as much as possible. I want to make them feel that I am not just a tutor and that I can also be their friend. I am aware that this goal might not be very easy to achieve but I am always trying my best to give them the best experience they deserve while they’re learning.

4. What do you love most about teaching online?

What I love the most about online teaching are the conversations, the stories and the events that I got to share and celebrate with my students. Listening to them makes me feel at peace, it feels like this job isn’t just a job at all. This is a way of connecting strangers, listening to their stories and learning from it. It’s enticing to me how my students open up their lives and how they listened to my stories too as if we were like two long lost friends who found each other again.

5. Will you recommend online teaching as a job? Why?

Yes. I’ll recommend online teaching as a job because it’ll serve as a nice stepping stone if one has plans of teaching English abroad. For me, online teaching enhances the basic skills needed especially the communication skills for teachers aiming to work abroad. 

SHIELA MAE GALANGKE

Shiela is also a teacher by profession. She has been a licensed teacher since 2019. 

She was a Group General tutor Awardee for the months of June, September and October that made her belong to the hall of fame. 

1. What teaching strategies can you share to others that you think made you one of Envizion’s Hall of fame?

The teaching strategies that I can share to others that I think made me one of Envizion’s Hall of Fame are these…

First, always believe in your ability to teach. Impress your students and make them feel like you’re the best teacher so that they’ll book your lessons again. 

Next, fake it till you make it. There are days where you don’t feel like yourself, you don’t feel like talking or basically you just don’t feel like teaching and when it happens all that you can do is to pull out your plasticity persona and fake it until it’s over. 

Lastly, don’t forget to smile. Your smile is very powerful and your students would love to see it every lesson he/she’ll have with you. 

2. What is something that you think you have that makes you an effective online teacher?

Whenever my student says “this question is too hard for me” or “I’m sorry, I can’t explain my answer in English very well, it’s very hard” I always reply with a smile then says  “Oh! No worries, I’m here. Let me help you.” And I think this very simple line is what makes me an effective online teacher. I always do this to my students whether they’re professionals, high school or elementary students because I strongly believe that these simple words mean a lot to them and that, sometimes all they need is assurance that they’re not alone in this journey  of becoming fluent English speakers. 

Embracing the New Learning Trend

Why teach English Online?

Short answer: This form of teaching is Booming. Distance learning has really caught on. With this new mode of learning and teaching, many will definitely love its convenience and less stress work. This is becoming the norm in many ways and teaching online is easier than ever.

As this industry continues to grow, many opportunities will open and will give you your desired teaching career. 

So there you have it. Would you try to fit in and thrive in the online teaching world with limitless possibilities and opportunities? Let’s all embrace the trend and not be left behind.

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