I have been teaching English for like, 9 years. I have dealt with lots of students; kids, teenagers and adults as well.
I mostly taught bilingually, in private or courses. I can tell, my English was bad, I could only rely on my expertise in Grammar things. I can also remember, I was paid so low, but then it raised as my experience added up.
In 2014, I was looking for a new job and in a glimpse, I thought to break my zone in teaching English bilingually to a more communicative and English-environment zone. At that time, I was hired by one of the popular English schools in Bandung.
Working here was not easy. I was coached, supervised, observed and quite intimidated as well. I had never thought that teaching English would have not been so simple. I had to make lesson plans beforehand, and prepare some supplementary materials; papers, handouts and so on just to make sure that students were active and encouraged to talk.
First 3 months was hard to deal with. My supervisor was kind of strict and I felt like I was living in hell. I guess I used to count the days until my contract ended.
But then again, I believe that everything happens for a reason.
If I had never gone and taught there, my English and teaching skills would have never been this better. If I had not felt torture or intimidation, I would have never learned any lessons.
A year was enough for me to stay. I decided to quit and find another work life. I was in dilemma because I didn’t know what to do, I was unemployed for quite some time. Not literally jobless, I had some friends who trusted me for translating, and there I was, became a freelance translator and worked from home.
I have always tried not to complain about any kinds of jobs I am doing, and neither did I, at that time. I enjoyed what I did even though money matter was not even better. I learned a lot, by reading someone else’s theses and dissertations, even journals.
In the late 2014, I had a chance to travel, lived in Paris for almost 3 months, and moved to Australia and worked for a year. I have felt that my English was fluently improved, not only textbook based English, but also everyday communication. Moreover, living in an English-speaking country like Australia has encouraged me to be a much better English teacher and learner as well.
After returning home, I felt like I was born again. I could be more confident in what I do for living, to teach. Then, I decided to teach at the same company I used to work in Bandung, but this time, I live in another city, Bogor.
Feeling that I am experienced enough in teaching and my English is well-improved, I can handle my students pretty well and come up with some ideas, even spontaneously.
I didn’t use to like teaching kids back then, but now I seem to enjoy every class, every student I am teaching, including kids.
Is it because now I am confident of myself that I can teach better? Or because I like the environment in my office? Warm teachers, friendly staffs, easy-going boss, variative yet mostly respective students. I don’t know, but I’m sure that, whatever I do in the future, wherever I travel, I guess teaching is my passion, and it takes me almost 9 years to find out if I have been in the right path or not.
Well, it’s worth waiting, isn’t it?