The five most fun tasks of online teacher Anja are:

  1. contact with children
  2. the enthusiasm of children
  3. enjoying reading together
  4. working with different ages
  5. enthusiastic reactions from parents through the mail


A day in the life of online teacher Anja

Miss Anja has worked as an online teacher at Dutch for Children for four years. Moreover, she has been working in education for 35 years. She lives in Portugal with her husband. I got to interview her two years ago about her education years and work with us. And so this became a fun article about her workday and her work for Dutch for Children.

First, I asked her a few questions about the profession of elementary school teacher.

1. Why did you want to become an elementary school teacher?

My grandmother has always been a teacher, and I was allowed to join her as a three-year-old. I had such a good feeling about it from the beginning that I never really wanted to be anything but a teacher.

2. How long have you been in teaching? Thirty-five years with short intervals.

Working abroad as a Dutch teacher

3. Since when have you been teaching online?

I have been teaching online for two years, October 5. The nice thing is that I now live in Portugal and work as a teacher abroad.

4. How many colleagues do you work with?

There are 13 of us.

5. Do you like that?

It’s nice to see each other online occasionally. I like the new coffee moments where we can just log in and have a chat.
It’s nice that I can always contact you, Wendy, or my colleagues.

The tasks of an online teacher

6. What are your duties as an online teacher?

As an online teacher, I am mainly busy getting ideas and preparing the lessons. We at Dutch for Children work on a customized basis for each child. So, I look at his or her interests and level, and from that, I create a lesson for each individual child.

More tasks include working out lessons for individual children, grading, finding (picture) books, teaching, meeting once in 4-6 weeks, consulting with parents, administration of hours and lesson progress, and sending emails.

”Preparing an explanation of a spelling rule, language games, a short talk with Tim’s parents, and a big thumbs up from the hand puppet when Els did well: the full day of online teacher Anja.

A normal working day for Anja

The schedule is as follows:

8:00-8:30 a.m. Get up.
Then I always go for a swim.
Time to get the lessons ready.

10.00 starts the first lesson.
10:00-10:30 a.m. Lesson.
Send mail after class to parents.
Brief break with coffee.
11:30-12:30 next lesson.
Send mail to parents.

Lunch and then I am free for a while: walking or working in my vegetable garden, reading.

After that, it goes on in one piece:
3:30 pm-4:00 pm class.
4:30-5:00 p.m. class.
5:15-6:15 p.m. class.

At 6:30 p.m., I start preparing dinner.
After dinner, I usually send some emails or check.
Then I go for a walk or other relaxation.

And, recently, I’ve started to be free on Thursdays and Sundays!

7. What did you expect from being an online teacher at Dutch for Children?

I didn’t know; I just started right away. Seeing some of your (Wendy’s) lessons via video gave me more of an idea. I didn’t expect it to be so fun and work so well, and you can build a bond with students like that. I am even going to see two students in real life now when I go to Holland on vacation.

Fun and less fun tasks of the teaching profession

8. Nice things about your profession as an online teacher: which are they?

Being an online teacher is more fun than I thought. The contact with children, the enthusiasm of the children, and the nice reactions from parents through the mail. You really get something back from the children. I also find it so sweet when children take an interest in me and ask, “How are you?””

The combination of working with different ages and levels is also so nice about working online. I have them from (very) young to grade 8. With the preschoolers, I love working with hand puppets and picture books.

But I also thoroughly enjoy reading together with older students or discussing a particular statement. Enjoying books together with children. What is behind the story: the theme/ idea.

9. Are there less fun tasks as an online teacher?

Yes: Making learning reports, since that is also customized, is a lot of work. I also find the administration of hours less fun, but that is very little in this work.

10. What do you find most difficult about being an online teacher? Why that?

It happens rarely, but if it’s a young student who doesn’t feel like it and you have trouble getting his attention, it’s difficult sometimes, but I also like it as a challenge.

What you definitely don’t want to miss from the day of online teacher Anja

11. Can you tell what is the weirdest, funniest or most striking thing you have ever experienced with your students?

There was a recording, and the car was parked. The student was thus taught for half an hour in the back seat via the iPad.

This also happened once before on the road, while driving, on the way to vacation.

Of course, this shouldn’t happen too often, but one of those times is nice. We are flexible at Dutch for Children!

12. If you didn’t become a teacher, what then?
I really don’t know. It was a done deal: I would have become a teacher. Period.
13. What is one thing your students still don’t know about teacher Anja?
  • I have a vegetable garden, had lots of peaches, made lots of jam, and then had to give peaches away.
  • And that I have and still collect a lot of picture books.
  • Finally, Miss Anja also sails.