The Land of Overnights
Have you ever seen other teachers post about teaching overnight? Ever wondered what it was like or if it is something you’d enjoy? There are plenty of VIPKID teachers who work through the night Friday night-Saturday morning and Saturday night-Sunday morning. That is China’s weekend morning and I have seen lots of teachers have great success doing that because the parents want their kids to take classes on the weekend. So, I thought I’d give it a try. While it was a lot of fun, staying up late is quite different than getting up early. I learned a lot about myself and the experience of teaching overnight when I tried it for myself.
Limit your open slots for your first overnight adventure. Before I ventured into this, I did read up on what a few other teachers had to say. One of the biggest pieces of advice that I took away was to not open up your schedule for an entire night the first time you try this. I can honestly say that I’m SO glad I listened to this! The first week I did it, I only had slots open until 1:00 am. My midnight class and my 12:30 am class were a struggle! So, I learned that I can’t really do a true “overnight.” I would have been really struggling had I opened up my entire night! So, my biggest takeaway would be to try it for a few hours first and add more slots to your schedule for a future week if you think you could teach more.
Give yourself breaks throughout the night. My next suggestion would be to schedule yourself more breaks throughout the nigh than you might when you teach morning classes. For me, I gave myself a 30 minute break every 3 classes. So, I would teach 3 classes and then have a 30 minute break by not opening up my schedule. This gave me time to get up and stretch, get a drink of water, and catch up on feedback forms. It helped me to stay alert and focused also. You may be able to do 4 or 5 classes at a time, but think through it— how many classes do you think you’d be able to teach before needing more than a 3-5 minute break? Start small. The last thing you’ll want is to be tired, losing focus, needing to use the restroom, etc. and having to teach 2, 3, 4 more classes before you’ll be able to do that. You can always open up more slots in future weeks. But you can’t do anything once it’s been booked.
Find ways to keep yourself looking awake and alert. I took a nap. I kept water by my teaching computer so I could take quick water breaks between classes. I ate a healthy snack during my longer breaks. Whatever you decide, make sure you look for ways to stay alert. You don’t want the parents to give a 4 apple review because you yawned your entire way through the lesson.
So, the biggest thing I took away is that I’m not able to do overnights. I can teach evenings, but not too late because, let’s be real, I’m just not a night person. I would really encourage you to take the overnights slow. Try it once and see how it goes. Don’t go too crazy because you might regret it. You can always add more slots. You can’t take them away once they’ve been booked.