Where it all began: The start of my teaching journey

Updated: May 14, 2021

My teaching journey began in New York City where I worked as a teacher's assistant and tutor at a public school while I studied at University. I had always enjoyed working with children because of their love of life and unlimited potential. Working with kids made me feel fulfilled and happy. I felt at peace when I was around children, so I was always eager to go to work at school or tutor children at their homes.

Although I loved working at the large school, I found that children were often not able to receive enough attention from their teachers. Children who struggled to learn at school were left behind, not because the teachers were inadequate, but because they were overworked and already had many students to deal with. In America, teachers are underpaid, don't receive many benefits from their job, and are not given much support. It's the same in Vietnam too. Even if the teachers adore teaching, they get burnt out because of overwork and the sadness of not being able to give enough attention to children who really need it.

At the NYC public school, part of my job was providing this special attention. I was assigned children in the class who struggled the most and I would help them complete the assignments, provide guidance, and further explain the class topic. I greatly enjoyed providing this 1 on 1 attention that the main teacher was unable to do because it meant that I could get to know my students, discover more efficient ways for them to learn, and give them the attention that they needed. Sometimes I met a student who struggled more than others, but I knew that this meant that I just needed to improve my teaching methods.

After graduating from University, I joined a nonprofit organization in Ha Noi, Vietnam, where I helped recruit volunteers who would teach English at schools within the country. I was a full-time volunteer myself, so I worked part-time at a few English centers in order to pay the bills. It was at these schools that I learned more about ESL teaching. My classes usually had between 10-20 students in them, and since many of my students did not speak English yet, I sometimes struggled to explain the lesson. I often relied on my wonderful, hard-working, Vietnamese co-teachers to interpret my words and explain the lesson. I also continued my study of the Vietnamese language because I knew that it would help me in the classroom. It was around this point that I had realized that I wanted to stay in Vietnam for many years.

When covid-19 hit Vietnam and schools closed, I joined an online English teaching company called Skima Talk, where I taught adult Japanese students in 1 on 1 classes. Although I had taught 1 on 1 classes before with adult students, this was the first time that I had truly enjoyed them. In the past, I had struggled greatly with choosing lesson materials that worked well in an online classroom setting. With Skima Talk, I learned how to use online applications more efficiently, how to develop a more student-oriented lesson plan, and I discovered many new materials. I did tons of research about how to improve my online teaching skills and how to develop fun and efficient materials. I found that I absolutely LOVED teaching adult students online and I looked forward to each lesson, so I decided to do it full-time.

While I was working at Skima Talk, a few parents in Vietnam found out that I taught online and inquired about my online lessons. The lockdown was still in place during this time and many students were struggling to learn English at home. After all, English is a difficult language! 

Parents started recommending my classes to their friends and my classes started to expand. As I received more students, I started having trouble keeping track of their messages. I opened a separate Facebook page that my students could follow and I used it to organize the messages. Since I was still studying Vietnamese, I realized that I could use the page to practice my language skills, so I promised to try to post every day in English and Vietnamese. 

 Although my teaching journey began in NYC, it has never truly ended. I am still on this journey and I am excited to continue learning new teaching methods, meet new students and further discover my love for teaching!

If you would like to learn more about my private online tutoring options, click here or email me at

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