It was October 2016, I was struggling to find jobs. I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders (Speech-Language Pathology). I lived in Florida, and without a Master’s degree, it was very difficult to find work related to the field. I kept searching for Speech-Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) positions all over Florida, and without a certified speech-language pathologist supervisor and a school district/company to hire me, I couldn’t be certified as an SLPA.
I was hired as a secretary in a neonatal unit at a local hospital paying minimum wage. I dreamt of going to graduate school, and being able to do what I have always wanted to do- teaching and being able to serve/ provide speech and language therapy to individuals with communication needs and disorders. I wanted a job that was related to my life’s passion, but I needed to make ends meet. I stumbled upon an ad on a website – ALO7 Online ESL tutoring to students K-12. At that time, I was skeptical. I hadn’t heard of a lot of online ESL teaching companies and ALO7. I did not know how I would be paid since I would be working for a Chinese company teaching students based in China. I followed my gut instinct, took a leap of faith, and more than 3 years later, I still work for this company that has given me the opportunity to live and chase after my dreams. I remember how nervous I was going through the whole hiring process- interviews, mock class, and waiting for the job offer letter/contract.
I remember teaching my first ALO7 class. We didn’t use the high tech ALO7 online courseware that we have today. We used PowerPoint slides. Even then, I was very impressed with the curriculum, the lesson plans, the vision, philosophy, staff, people working for ALO7, and the management team.
After teaching my first online class, I was so happy. I prepared a lot of teaching props. I was so nervous and a little awkward at first, but I thoroughly enjoyed my interactions with my student and the parents. I fell in love with teaching again, and I remembered why I wanted to teach, and why I wanted to be a speech-language therapist. I witnessed how this modest online platform grew- from a 1-to-1 teaching model to 1-to-3+ to 1-to-many classrooms. I love how the company has always been about the students’ learning. ALO7 has consistently focused on redesigning and innovating how education is being delivered to students, evolving and advancing with the global trends of technology, making education more accessible and affordable, and creating possibilities and opportunities amidst challenges in educational inequity. ALO7 is a visionary and a pioneer in bridging young learners in China to the world, connecting millions of Chinese students to hundreds of international tutors across the globe. The interactive experience and exchange of culture, ideas, and information are invaluable to our young students. Technology has definitely made the world closer in spite of the distance.
I have taught more than 4,000 classes for ALO7 since 2016. ALO7 has been a pillar of support all throughout these years—through my lows and highs, between moving states and time zones, applying to colleges and universities again, juggling part-time jobs, when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, when I had a car accident, when I started my journey as a full-time graduate student, studying for exams, taking classes, working as a student clinician during my clinical year, and now as I completed and graduated from my Master’s degree in Education/Speech-Language-Pathology. I am beyond grateful to ALO7, and to the entire support staff and management, to Dandan, Mandy, James, Alex, Jay, Zing, David, Andrew, Candy, Francis, Jeff, Davies, Rusty, Edward, Vivian, to Dr. Pan Pengkai, our wonderful ALO7 tutor community, and many others. How ALO7 is uniquely different among other tutoring platforms — ALO7 embodies the growth mindset, continuously growing, evolving, and innovating traditional learning with digital tools and technology, to nurture and educate current and future generations whilst cultivating values rooted in culture, family, and camaraderie. ALO7 listens to its tutor community. It’s a company with vision and heart.
ALO7 is my first online teaching job. I love learning languages, travelling, hiking, and nature. I love working with students of different ages and backgrounds. I will be working in the school district as a speech-language pathologist. Because of the current pandemic, a lot of speech and language therapy services are now being offered via teletherapy, which is so similar to online ESL teaching. The online and digital platform has paved the way to unlimited possibilities. I even had my whole graduation ceremony held via zoom. Yay Class of 2020 Zoom Graduates! I am based in Sacramento, California (USA). I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology, and Master of Arts degree in Education/Speech-Language Pathology.