Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sentiments of an Online English Teacher

I have been working as an online English teacher to Koreans for almost a year already. Being part of this KPO company was such a turning point in my career as I really never thought of becoming an educator, much less a web-ucator. Now, my career path has been re-carved by Fate, a sui generis entity created by none other but myself.

In the company, things were going well. My team mates were professionals; they do act like teachers who just happen to work in an unconventional classroom setting. My bosses...uhhmm...they were benign. They're quite detached from the tutors probably because of certain stereotypes that perpetuate themselves, whether they be well-grounded or unfounded. I'm not really bothered about this as much as I am with the nature of this job. I asked this question thus:

"Will my Korean bosses be willing to pay $ if I were their English teacher?"
I think this online teaching thingamajig is going to be a big fat joke if they they themselves feel dubious about our English and teaching skills. To wit: "Are these Koreans just fooling their fellow countrymen by placing them under Filipinos speaking half-baked English?" And as there is a need to be fair, I also have to ask myself: "Will I pay for the kind of service that I give?"

There is one wish that I could ask from my bosses. I wish that they could be more than just benign towards us and show us the level of respect that teachers, in the original sense of the word, deserve. They should manifest confidence in their teachers, for we are not there to dupe anyone. And to the instructors, I wish that EVERYONE display professional behavior that is befitting of teachers. This reciprocation of attitudes and values between Korean higher-ups and Filipino employees could very well dispel the divisive spirit that has been there for an unwantedly long time.