Justine.O, Online English teacher at Acadsoc.
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My Diary, as an online English teacher
The streets echo with the hustle and bustle of morning traffic outside my apartment. As some carry mugs filled to the brim with morning coffee, mine echoes with vowels, phrases, and traces of red tea from the early hours of the morning.
I yawn reluctantly. The stiffness of my neck reminds me that I need a chair more suitable for my job description. My computer lights up, it’s time for my last class. In twenty-five minutes, my day will end just as it starts for some, if not most. See, while my family is asleep I wake up and dedicate to my full-time job. This job is not how I start my day, but rather, how I end it.
As a breadwinner, it has been very important for me to utilize my time in such a way that is not only satisfactory but fulfilling financially. When you spend most of your time as a babysitter, the job options open to you are diminished by almost ninety percent. For me, it was important that I find something that accommodates and compliments my schedule. That dedicated effort to find something landed me a position at Acadsoc teaching English online.
I start working from 8 o’clock in the morning, creep from my bed, brush my teeth, wash my face and then prepare breakfast for my family. When they wake up with sleepy-eyes, I am already in class with students. Time passes so fast, it reminds me of lunchtime when the clock rings 12 times. After feeding my boy and get him to sleep, I will devour my lunch in 30 minutes. In most cases, it is hard to stay awake in the afternoon, so I will take a nap or try some coffee. When night falls, my husband is back from work and help to prepare dinner. My duty will finish at 9 PM, as I prefer, to watch TV and tell bedtime stories to my boy after working a whole day.
For my family, they sometimes compare me to an android, clock in and clock out at certain times every day. My little angel climbed up to the chair when I was finishing lunch in 30 minutes. He asked me, with curiosity, in his little voice, what was on the screen of my laptop. I smiled at him, ‘That’s my job, sweetheart. J-O-B, job. Can you repeat the word again?’ Without awareness, I keep a teacher’s habit even in daily life.
Where it starts, I was hired as an online English teacher by accident
I joined Acadsoc by accident, seeing Acadsoc’s advertisement on Facebook hiring online English teachers when I was browsing news feeds aimlessly. I took a chance since I had no teaching experience before this job, never expecting they will consider me as a candidate. All in my mind back then was an income to feed my baby and my family.
Like a dream, I got interviewed and passed and started working in the same week after the interview. Which makes me highly impressed by HR’s efficiency and profession, taking me as a newbie into this big family. Yeah, family, I realised Acadsoc is different from the BPO company I worked with before. In the call centre, all I had was an ID card and fingerprint to clock in and clock out. Here, at Acadsoc, I have my students, some started to take my classes from day 1 till now, my Chinese supervisor and colleagues, who are willing to help, and hundreds of online English teachers in our Facebook community, passionate, welcome to share and friendly. For the first time, my name means so much to someone else except for my family.
Like a karma and bless, I started working as a full-time teacher from week 1, conducting 8 hours’ classes per day, even when I was still under probationary. When I brought up my concern to my supervisor, I could always hear an answer in 30 minutes. It made me feel like I was fully trusted by the company and I should do my best to repay their expectation, not to fail my position, as a noble online English teacher.
Where it ends, I keep improving my trial classes strategy and learn from others
At first, I was really nervous in handling trial classes because I know that being part of the Top Tutors is really a big responsibility since we will handle more trial classes than regular teachers do. There’s a lot of pressure and you always need to be on your 100% full energy while having trial classes.
The most unforgettable trial class I had was with a 6-year-old-girl, who can barely speak English. I felt really nervous until I decided to play a music and sang a song for her. She started smiling and that makes me feel comfortable. Then I realized I needed to make and prepare some teaching materials that I can use while having my classes especially trial classes for kids such as downloaded music w/ videos, hand puppets, fancy headbands, etc.
The best part of being a teacher is the personal satisfaction in seeing your students learn from what you taught and later on becoming a successful person. Telling you how much you’ve helped them to become confident English speakers.
I was a call centre agent before and I didn’t expect to become an Acadsoc home-based teacher. Now, I’m loving my job so much as my students always make me smile.