TEFL Online – PalFish

Since quitting the internship due to uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus, I have been busy trying to find other teaching work. By chance, I stumbled upon a guy called Liam on Instagram, which had info in the bio about teaching English online, through an app called PalFish. I signed up thinking this would be a great earner while the schools are closed, especially as it is teaching children in China, who also aren’t at school due to Coronavirus. I’ve since met Liam to chat about PalFish, TEFL and travelling and to be honest his life is absolute goals to me; working on his own schedule teaching but also on a number of other projects that he’s passionate about, is where I would like to be in a year or 2.

Pretty sure the fish has a name, can’t rememeber what it is.

I signed up and uploaded all my documents, then booked in to do a demo lesson. I did a demo lesson when I started working with DTLC to a group of my peers, which was weird, and much more daunting than teaching actual children. This demo was to a blank screen, which I think I preferred actually. As a British person, I struggle sometimes with the animation and ‘Disney persona’ that my American friends seem to do so easily. I guess us brits are far too dry for that kind of stuff, so I felt like a bit of a plonker teaching ‘hello monkey’ to a blank screen sat in my room.

My ‘Classroom’ – You have to wear blue when teaching (hence the T-shirt) and the letters are handy for me to take anywhere. My sister said it looks like a set up for some dodgy online videos, which I can assure you it’s not. Times are hard but not that hard.

Despite this, I passed the demo and started getting pop ups through right away to teach trial classes. I haven’t been in a place quiet enough to teach until this weekend, so started doing lessons yesterday. I don’t think I’ll forget my first lesson in a hurry. I was teaching fruit to a 3 year old boy; luckily I had an apple in my fridge which came in handy. While I’m prancing around on screen repeating ‘apple’ and pretending to eat it etc. the 3 year old boy is just crying; when I say crying I mean he was sobbing, wailing almost. I actually felt bad, because I could hear the dad in the background and the kid was clearly terrified of the mad ginger lady with the apple.

My teaching assistant ‘Monkey May’ and the terrifying apple in question

The rest of my classes haven’t been such a disaster, thankfully, and I’ve really enjoyed teaching again over the last couple of days, sat in my Airbnb room! I have been accepted to start another job at Apax in Hanoi, when the schools re-open, which I hope will be soon. In the meantime, I’m happy to say, I’ve booked a fight back to Sri Lanka for a couple of weeks. I’ve wanted to go back since the day I left that beautiful place, so I’m really looking forward to this little holiday and can’t wait for Sri Lankan curry! First stop is Arugam Bay, and then we will make our way back along the coast via as many beaches as possible.

Arugam Bay 2018- I didn’t stay long or take many photos but I’ll make up for that!

The beauty of the PalFish teaching app, is that I can do it from anywhere in the world with a decent enough internet connection, so I plan to still be earning while I’m in Sri Lanka. My new job is on a 1 year contract and I’m looking forward to finding an apartment in Hanoi and getting settled. For any of my EFL teacher friends who are interested, my PalFish invitation code is 43684828, and I’m happy to help with the application process 😊

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