Lexi Heneger has been teaching children in China for many years. She has never met any of them, but you may not know it by listening to her talk about it.
“I taught on the sidewalk in Beijing. I have taught the back of the motorcycle where the student was just following the mother and taking classes on his little scooter. I have taught in many restaurants and shopping malls in China. ”
All the teaching moments she describes have been made online through the video conferencing platform. Thousands of miles away, students tuned in to an iPad or laptop in China, while Heneger taught from her home in Indiana, in a basement cupboard she renewed for the job.
“So I just put my computer and all my props around my desk. And then I hung some curtains and flashing lights and made them just in this small classroom, ”she says.
Twinkle lights were meant to evoke a sense of playable magic, and it was like all sorts of magic – until very recently.
This summer, Heinegar and thousands of other teachers in the United States began to receive word that the stumbling block they were in would soon be over.
In fact, many of these Chinese teaching companies have significantly increased their online operations as new regulations by the Chinese government have effectively banned private tutoring with foreign teachers. Some companies suddenly shut down. Others are slowly turning down. But in each case, American educators are struggling to figure out what’s next.
On today’s podcast, we’re playing this drama into the online teaching market, which has huge implications for many teachers in the United States.