How being an online English teacher saves me in this pandemic

I went from sulking to meeting people—and earning decent money

Without a doubt, we can say that the pandemic took its toll on both our wallets and our mental health. It’s definitely not a good time to be a Filipino in your early 20s—powering through university amid a looming economic crisis, a life-threatening virus ravaging across the entire world, and, the loneliness brought about by isolation.

So the question is: how do I power through all this?

For months I’ve been scouring the internet, looking for a part-time job whose wage could be enough for me to actually feel content at a time when helplessness, well, can’t be helped. From virtual assistant jobs to data encoding, I did my fair share of research and found out that these jobs are tedious enough to affect my university life. Frankly, I was about to give up on the hunt and just sulk—until from a dear friend, I got wind about teaching English.

Let me give you a bit of perspective, imagine this—you’re beaten down by isolation, you’re essentially broke, and your social life’s a mess. What could possibly remedy all these crises all at the same time, with you actually making quite a bit of cash?

For me, teaching English as a second language did the trick.

From then on, I went from looking for a decent part-time job to looking for an English teaching company that suits an average student’s schedule. Lucky enough, I found Acadsoc, a company that lets you open classes any time you want, pays decent wages, and lets you connect with thousands of foreign students from China, Japan, Korea, and even France looking to practise their English speaking skills through mundane vocabulary lessons down to exciting free talk about any topic they choose—all done in the comfort of your home.

For a student like me, the opportunity was godsend—I found myself employed after a tedious week of interviews, demo classes, and TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) certification tests.

So far the experience has been nothing but great because of how I essentially make friends, socialize, and have quality time with genuine people, while at the same time making actual, decent money from it.

I went from sulking in my room, conjuring fake scenarios in my head where the pandemic didn’t exist, to coaching people how to express themselves and their feelings, in proper English—all at my convenience.

The job also has its fair share of wholesome interactions with students, one of them a five-year-old kid named Sven who reads me a short story every night right after class ends.

There’s also April who never fails to brighten up my day with her funny quips about her co-workers’ antics.

Finally, there’s Mia who, granted, isn’t the best English speaker, still somehow intrigues me every time she introduces a new stuffed toy for me to meet. All in all, the job warms my heart by a tad bit after each and every class.

I’ve completely forgotten about any lingering feelings of loneliness and helplessness which had held me back to the point where I saw the world in grey. Now, I’m a lot more motivated to power through online classes knowing that I’m not alone in this fight. I’ve got friends like Sven, April, and Mia who cheer me on every night with the words—you can do it Teacher Migo!

Miguel Rizardo

is 21 years old and studying in Malayan Colleges Laguna. A multilingual Star Wars fan-boy majoring in computer science, an avid Stephen King reader, and enjoys takeout food.

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