So last night I announced on Twitter that I was going to blog about something, I’ve never blogged about before, and that’s my job!
I’ve been an on-line ESL teacher for almost a year now. I never got a degree in Language Teaching. All I have is an online certificate that took me 1 month to get. And viola, I am a Language Instructor! How cool is that!
Then I sent my resume to two on-line schools. I guess they were becoming big in Russia at that time. A director from one got right back to me. I was hired on the spot. Over Skype! Who does that? That school also asked me to do some translation for the web-site, and they used my picture for a banner! So, yes, I am famous, in some parallel Universe, that counts, right? That school had me listed as British! Oh, I can be anything, just pay me! They also made me get a new Skype SN (screen-name), which I didn’t like, but did it anyways. So there I was using imo.im and my original Skype account, in order not to miss any messages from anyone important… As if there was anyone important out there. I honestly felt like I was Language Learning Headquarters Central! Whatever that is… That school also had a ton of on-line managers, who made it a habit of contacting me all at once. At least my typing skills improved! But honestly – a pain in the ass! I even didn’t show up for one of my classes, because I had to go to Brooklyn to get my hair done!
A couple days later I had a Skype interview with another school, that also hired me on the spot! That director didn’t even bother to turn her webcam on. God knows what she really looks like! That school was less popular, but I liked their system much better, I got my own email account that I use specifically for my students. I have an online account, where I track all my classes and students, where I create my schedule, and record my salary. Pretty nifty I should say. I also got hooked up with a gazillion useful books, resources, and links, in addition to the ones I’ve already had.
I worked at both schools for a while, and then I quit the first one! All these managers really got to me!
Among my students I had – a crazy stalker, who googled me, checked out all my social networking profiles that weren’t private, and quit after our 3rd lesson. His own method of learning the language was – ummm, Storytelling! I learned way more about him that I ever wanted to.
My other student was a translator wannabe! How cool is that! Translation is so exciting, especially when you don’t speak Russian on a daily basis, and never read the news. I absolutely loved the guy! We would spend two hours a day translating articles from Russian newspapers. This guy didn’t need an ESL teacher, he needed a shrink.
And the last one I want to tell you about is my Smoke Break guy. “Maybe a short break?” was his usual phrase. I was preparing him for TOEFL, and honestly, he started pissing me off by the end. But when Celtics were playing Lakers last summer I kept my TV on during the lesson!
Now, I don’t teach any of these students anymore, if you recognize any of them as your students, well God bless!
Don’t take this as a negative post, this is me making this world a better place to live with a bit of sarcasm!
PS. What inspired me (the correct phrasing should be – what forced me) to write this post was one of my student’s parents. I’ve been teaching their son for the past 3 months (I don’t even remember how long) and they contact me only now? To tell me what they want me to teach him? The boy had various ESL tutors over the past 2 years, what have they taught him? Nada! So now it’s my job, for 8 bucks an hour! How fantastic!