Imagine what I look like teaching online without any coffee

Teaching Online – Main Lesson I Learned

A cup of coffee is never too far from my grasp when I am teaching online.

Keeps the vocal cords moist, and the brain alert.

A requirement for an online teacher.

Searching through the local supermarket, I have come across some underwhelming packets of the brew. But I have found a winner. And our little kitchenette is stockpiled.

Bangkok has loads of little coffee shops all over the place. Just specify that you want it ron (hot) and you’re good to go.


By and large, they all brew a pretty good Americano. This is just another reason why visiting Thailand is a great idea.

But finding a good packet of ground coffee in a supermarket is a bit trickier. So when you find a brand that you like, hold onto it.


That is the number one lesson I have learned since teaching online. No, not that coffee is important to life, I already knew that, but that having an alert mind while teaching is super important.

It can be easy to go onto auto pilot, when teaching. Several things contribute to this.

Firstly, the material is by no means new to an English teacher. You have probably had this same class many times before with previous students.

Secondly, as a native speaker of English, the material is often not challenging.

Thirdly, the majority of the time I teach with Palfish using audio only. Meaning that, since the student does not see me, I can easily lose focus on the lesson.

Fourthly, teaching students online is done at a time convenient for them. So even if you are on the same time zone, if they only have time at 11pm, you need to be available for them. For a guy who’s bedtime comes as early as 8pm, that takes some adjustment.

These factors all conspired against me once, and I actually fell asleep during a class. For real! It was a micro sleep of a few seconds, but when I came to, I had no idea what my student had just said.

Ever since then, caffeine has become my ally.

What works for you?

Let us know.


You can trust me. I'm a writer. King of opinions. A serial cereal eater.

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