Featured Teacher: Meg

Let’s give a huge congratulations to our September 2020 Mentor of the Month! Meg first joined us on the summer camp program in Beijing in 2019, before joining our online tutoring program this year. 

She has taught over 40 students and almost 1000 class sessions to date, while also taking on additional responsibilities such as designing new courses and leading group classes. In July, Meg was also promoted to “program developer” for the Star Mentor program.

What do you enjoy about teaching English online?

My Chinese students are all incredible, during this time as a mentor and tutor I have really enjoyed spending with them. Sometimes I will also share aspects of my life with them by sending some photos, for example what I ate that evening! 

I also love to teach British cultural classes to them, because I can learn about cultural differences and understand their different lives. For example, I recently taught one of my students a class on British history, and in return she taught me about Chinese history! This type of experience inspires me to continue working hard as a tutor and mentor.

On this topic, I hope that I will have the opportunity one day to visit my students face-to-face in China!

What is your teaching philosophy?

I hope to help children become less afraid of making mistakes – this is how you learn! I notice that many parents and students are so worried about making mistakes that sometimes they are reluctant to try. I want to emphasise that the first step is trying, using your existing knowledge to make an educated guess. 

You’ve recently been promoted to “Program Developer” for the Star Mentor program. What does this involve?

As Programme Developer, I run the Star Mentor members WeChat group. My role has evolved lots since I first started, as it is shaped primarily by the student’s interests. Currently I post a phrase of the week video (introducing the students to colloquial English phrases), a book of the week, and a recorded class of the week. I host an open class for the members every fortnight and communicate with the parents. I have really enjoyed my role so far, especially the opportunity to help shape and grow the business.

Describe your average day

7:30First class of the day!
Because of the time zone difference, my first class is usually around 7:30am. My mornings are usually fully booked with classes, with just a few moments to reply to messages from students and parents.
After a full morning of classes, it’s time for a bite of lunch!
14:00Video recording
I start more admin tasks including recording some video lessons for the Star Mentor members’ group.
16:00Time to relax!
Once I have finished these tasks, I have some time to go for a walk and spend time hanging out with my family.
17:00Marking and lesson planning
Each day, I also spend around one hour marking students’ homework, grading and preparing lesson plans.

Do you have any amusing stories from your time tutoring so far?

I have now taught a many students of different ages and subject interests – of course there have been many interesting stories!

A class with pets

One of my younger students loves to bring her puppy along to every class! 

One time she was distracted by the dog demanding attention, so I had to sing a song to catch her attention back and try to calm the puppy down!

Magic my homework

The first course I developed was the Harry Potter reading series. One of the class activities was for my student to design her own spell. 

Her answer turned out to be “help me do my homework”! It seems to have worked, because every time her homework is excellent!

Eating the planets

Another class I taught focused on the phases of the moon and planets in the solar system – using fruit and biscuits as models. Suddenly my student seemed hungry and started to eat Mars and Neptune (represented by a tomato and grape respectively), and before long the solar system was missing quite a few planets!

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