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  • Writer's picturesarahonlybetter

What Teaching has Taught Me

As a VIPKID teacher, I've had a little bit of a front row seat to the COVID-19 pandemic. I'm not just teaching these students in China English every morning. I'm building relationships and learning more about a different culture. Through that, I've had daily updates of how things started over there and how things are going.

I felt bad when my students had been home through their whole winter break and were unable to see their families and celebrate Spring Festival as usual (Spring Festival is similar to our Christmas season in the U.S.). I knew it was bad when I heard a student who seems to be fairly affluent say that his family was unable to get the groceries they needed that week. One morning, my student Wendy came to class with a cold. She was terrified and cried that she was sick. I saw the fear in this sweet girls face that she might also die from this virus. Another students neighbor passed away due to the virus. I read about teachers in our community that their own students had passed away. And my conduit to being able to see this all was a child. Hearing about all this from a child has had such an impact on how I'm approaching this in my life.

These children have shown me so much bravery and so much strength over the last three months. I've learned that we have to be patient and we have to be a diligent collective as we go through this challenging time. These little munchkins have shown me that we are going to make it through this pandemic and what I might come to expect as the virus continues to spread across the globe.

In China, they've been home since about mid-January. Just this week (March 16), my students have started reporting going outside. One student said he was allowed outside for an hour but he still hasn't been able to see his friends. Another student said he went to the supermarket with his mom and he picked up some vegetables. I'm confident that things will start improving for us at a similar pace (hopefully faster) than how things have progressed in China.

I'm working very hard to ensure I've done my part to reduce the impacts of this pandemic and come out better for it. I want to help in any way possible. If you are in need or know of someone in need of resources, I want you to dial 211 on your phone. You will be connected to your local United Way's helpline to find local support and resources. It's free, confidential and available 24/7. Multilingual support is offered by trained professionals. I want you to get the help you need.

If you have lost your job or have been unable to work, and are looking for ways to work from home, I want to share this opportunity with you. You need to have a bachelors degree, have experience with children in a learning capacity, and have regular access to a laptop (or desktop) connected to wifi, a webcam, and some headphones.

I wake up just a little early every morning and teach 4 children 25-minute English lessons and earn an extra $1,000/month. If you have the time, you could teach enough to earn around $20/hour. You don't need to know how to speak Mandarin and you don't need to have a teaching license/certification/degree either. My friend Marilyn is an excellent guide and can help you through the process. You can email her at and apply here. Be sure to email her so she can reach out to you right away to get started.

Let me know how I can support you. I'd love to connect. Reach out to me at

Follow me on Instagram @sarahonlybetter. Find me on Facebook if that's your thing.

Thanks for stopping by! Be blessed.


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