Teaching had never been a part of my plan. But when opportunity opens its doors, I'm not one to just pass it by. I’d be curious enough to check it. Hence, I found myself with more opportunities than expected.
I was different from the other students who just finished high school. A few years back, I was already 100% sure what I wanted to major in university. I only had one degree in mind – MASS COMMUNICATIONS. I am into hosting and writing so I totally know that the course would fit me perfectly. Teaching? I used to shrug the idea off. I just could not see myself doing such a job. One of the skills required is classroom management which I knew was totally not my forte.
Things changed after I finally got my degree. To put my career life in a nutshell, I didn't get much chance to land a job in the media industry. I instead got into a customer service job for about 11 months, burned out and eventually left.
Although, teaching had never been something that I considered, I have always been interested in other people's cultures. So after being unemployed for about 3 months after my first job, I found a job opening for ESL teaching on a certain website. I thought to myself, "Why not take a shot? You don't have to stay long if you don't really want it."
I never would have thought that one day, I’d wake up liking the things I never expected to welcome in my life.
And from my experience in the ESL teaching world, here are the top five things that I found great:
1) You learn about other people's culture.
We don't just teach our students English. We also learn a few things about each other. Most of my students love to share about how they spend their holidays and travels.
2) You get to practice your social skills
You meet new students every time. If you are an introvert, practicing the art of good rapport is just one way to help you learn how to deal with people you meet. In addition, you get to encounter different students with different personalities. And despite the contrast in personality, all of them are still GREAT!
3) Differences in vocabulary
I'm talking about students' use of vocabulary. It's actually not just you, who teach them English. You also get to know some of the terms that are used in their language. In my case, I've learned the Japanese term for "uhmm.." and the name of some their sweets and holidays.
4) Skills improvement
I know some English grammar rules like the back of my hand. Just kidding! I used to speak English like I would speak my dialect. To stereotype someone who didn't study to teach the English language, my concept was "If it sounds right, it's right". But it's different in ESL. You need to explain why you corrected the student’s grammar and give advice on how to correctly structure sentences. You have to explain it in a way they will easily understand. It’s a challenge, but you learn at the same time. Oh! And our skilled trainers also help us out with this.
5) Asian Food
Aside from our generous managers giving us Japanese snacks sometimes, I’ve also had a few students from my free conversation classes who taught me how to prepare some Japanese specialties. I have always been in love with Asian culture. And being able to learn how to prepare the same food from other Asian countries is just cloud nine.
These are just five of the many perks an ESL teacher has. With everything mentioned, I’ve gradually realized the reasons why I am enjoying my current job.
Life just constantly gives surprising situations, especially when we least expect them. There are times when the things we least expect turn out to be the best things for us. If fate allowed and the time capsule worked, I would probably go back to the time when I graduated high school and consider two options to study in college this time.
So, don't know what you want in life right now? Try opening the door of opportunity that is nearest to you. Who knows, you might end up wanting to stay inside it for a very long time.