Let me get this out of my chest before I continue doing some of my work at home.
The thought of teaching children excites me. I think there is a natural love for teaching and learning within me. That is why when I got a job offer from Choongdamn to be one of their online English teachers for essay writing, I have no second thoughts about it. I am ready to leave the complexities of the corporate world to be back to teaching again.
But this is not what I expected it to be. I do not want to hate teaching, but this job is farfetched from what I thought would be a perfect job for me. I love reading and writing, you may ask, but why.
Here are the reasons:
First on my list is the massive/humongous/insertsuperlativeshere workload. The first week after our training (we were trained only for 16 hours!), we were already given 93 essays to grade in a week. Whaaaaat?! How am I supposed to read all of that, not to mention check for grammar and style/structure errors, make corrections and whatnots, in just a week? They expect quality work from us, and for me, in order to have quality output, I have to check all the details well and apply what I have learned during the training.
But no. On the first week, the team leader was all about finishing the essay quota. She expected us to finish 25 essays a day when whoa, everything was still new to me. I am still finding my way with the system and wringing my brains for appropriate leading questions to ask the students re: their essays. On my first day, I already worked for 13 hours. 8 is the number of normal paid working hours. The excess 5 hours were not paid.
I learned that 93 essays/week is just 25% of the full workload. /dies
Second: their system. The system only allows you to make 5 grammar checks, and there are a lot of “uncheckable” issues too. So, even if the student’s essay is full of grammar errors, you can only make corrections to 5 errors, as long as that error is in the system index. Next is the style and structure check. You should make 2 s-checks per essay, regardless if the student has written his essay
almost perfectly or horribly. Here’s the catch: even if the student has written something obviously irrelevant to the topic, you will find ways to make it related to the topic somehow because “as much as possible, we do not want to give a student a low grade. We do not want to hurt the student’s feelings with our comments, ergo the compulsory praise at the start of each comment. We do not want to receive complaints from the students because it would hurt the school’s image.” Bullshit. The bottom of this all, you suck all of these inconveniences because we do not want to lose market. So it is all about the money and not learning.
While writing this, I am staring at the screen with my workload glaring at me. I have only completed 33/186 essays I have for the week. I want to just smash the keyboard and call it quits. How am I supposed to finish this when I only have three days left (or 24 working hours) to work on these? This is just so depressing and frustrating. I want to whine, sulk, rant, but I cannot. I just have to suck all these in because I needed the money. I have bills to pay, I have a family to support, I have personal needs to attend to. I am not enjoying this anymore because this is taking off my time to enjoy some of the things I want to do. Heck, I cannot even rest. Even if I am just at home lying on my bed, at the back of my mind I am still bothered by the number of my incomplete essays but I cannot do anything about it. This makes me a worrier, and I hate worrying. As much as possible I do not want to worry, but I cannot help it when I have this at hand.
I can leave if I want to, but like I have said, I needed the money. I just learned this Monday that we (newbies) will be getting only our allowance for the first week this Thursday. I have already rendered work for two weeks, and way more unpaid hours, and now they are delaying the meager pay for two weeks? I just have no choice. I need the money to pay the house. Sometimes this gets so overwhelming that I cannot help but question, “I did not ask for anything more than just a job where I will enjoy, but how come this is happening to me?” Yes, I prayed for this, I wanted this job, but it turned out that it is not what I wanted it to be. Or expected it to be. I lost the motivation to wake up and go to work every morning. I am just doing this because I need to. The enjoyment part is dead and gone.