Jack Ma Foundation

Last winter the online ESL company I work for, VIPKID, launched a pilot program with the goal of implementing online education in rural schools across the country. As my pregnancy progressed and I prepared for the new element of chaos that would soon be entering my life, I received an interesting notification from VIPKID. The … More Jack Ma Foundation

The Elusive Spring

We knew there must be an entrance to the spring. Jinan was known as “The City of Springs” for a reason, and we had first spotted the pool of water during a hike up one of the hills near our apartment. While teaching English for a company called “Happy English”, we worked Wednesday- Sunday, but … More The Elusive Spring


I had a bad feeling about the day and did not want to get out of bed. I was to head to the West end of town, the location of a second branch of our ESL school, for training. Training with Happy English, in Jinan China, so far had been a disorganized mess. For two … More “Training”

Red-Bicycle part 2

I taught Vern in my online classroom again today.  Now in case you missed red-bicycle part 1, in our shapes section Vern has been calling the triangle “bicycle” and the rectangle “red-bicycle”. We are now moving on to the transportation unit, and so I had my laminated car, train, airplane, and bicycle out as teaching props. Conveniently … More Red-Bicycle part 2


I have spent the past year and a half working for an online ESL company called VIPKID. One of our beginner level units focuses heavily on shapes and shape patterns. The classes are one on one, using a live video screen and a PPT style lesson that both the student and I can draw on. … More Red-bicycle