A Journey of Becoming an ESL Teacher

Ever wondered what ESL means? ESL stands for “English as a Second Language”.

ESL Teacher Job Description

An ESL (English as a second language) teacher or ELL (English language learner) teacher is responsible for providing lessons and support to students who are learning English as a second language. Often ESL teachers use a real-life context to help students grasp the complexities of the language. ESL teachers must be adaptable, creative, and sensitive to the cultural differences expected when working with students from foreign countries. Often, those who teach English as a second language also act as mentors and advisors to students who are just getting established in a new environment. More info (http://www.teachercertificationdegrees.com/careers/esl-teacher/)

So now you know what ESL and ESL Teacher means right? Let’s now move on to my journey.

As a stay at home mom for 2 years now, I am so eager to come back to the workforce. But I know I have to be there for my son. I don’t want a Nanny/Yaya yet. He’s still building his character and I want to be there for him. We all want to, right? But let’s face it. Being at home makes me feel “Less”. I am not growing as a person. Plus I don’t have my own money. Whenever birthdays, anniversaries and holidays are celebrated, I can’t even buy a decent gift for my husband. Because the money comes from him as well. It’s as if I am not the one who gave the gift. As if he just asked me to buy it for him.

Plus the people who looks at me like I am worthless! oooooh people, they will always try to bring you down no matter what. God bless them.

I’ve learned a lot as a wife and as a mom. I think on those areas I have matured. But my personal growth stopped. I want to learn more, I want to spread my wings and see what the world can offer me.

I’ve been trying to land an online job since last year. I guess one of the main factors that I can’t land a job is because I don’t have one of the main requirements. A laptop! We have internet at home so getting online is not a problem.

I told myself and my husband that I really wanted a job and that this year— I will land a job no matter what. If you want me to work online at least give me what I need— A laptop. So we decided that we need to invest on it.

January 30, 2017— with the help of my Mother-In-Law (MIL) we were able to buy a new Laptop! Finally, yey!!

But I wasn’t totally happy then. More like nervous and pressured. I ALREADY HAVE A LAPTOP— what if I couldn’t get a job? What if my experience as a receptionist is not valid for my online job? What if, I still can’t land a job?

With a hopeful heart and a positive mind— I applied to different kinds of work I haven’t done before. Social media manager, social media marketing, blogger, photo editor, ESL Teacher, data entry, virtual assistant. Name it. Everyday I’ll answer a lot of tests and interviews. No matter how hard it was for me since it’s definitely a new world for me. I hang on to it.

I prayed to God and asked for his guidance. If this is not for me, I will understand. But if it is for me, I am ready now.

It was Morning on February 5, 2017. My phone rang while I was still asleep. I had second thoughts on whether or not to answer the call. But something deep inside me told me I should.

Phone Interview

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It was an interview from a company I’ve heard before— 51Talk. But I don’t really have an idea yet. I answered all the questions without hoping for anything in return.

After a while, I received a text message saying Congratulations you’ve past the interview!

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Wow! I can’t believe I was able to pass that one. Usually the comment would be, “You have dead airs, you get rattled a lot, you sound nervous” so on and so forth.

Told you, wasn’t really expecting anything. I got super surprised!

Tech Test

For tech test they will ask you;

to download a link that will check your computer and internet capability.

to close down all the programs in your computer. Open only the APP of link they provided.

to close down all the gadgets (cellphone, ipad, laptop) that is currently connected to the wifi.

Also you need to wired your LAN to your laptop, this is a major requirement.

The test will be for at least 2 minutes. They will ask you to take a screenshot of the result, and send it to them right away.

and then you will know if you will proceed to the next level.

Orientation

Next level is the Orientation, it will be done via Skype, it would be a group video call. Other applicants will be with you— all applying for 51 Talk representative. Here you will talk, learn more abut 51 Talk, and the process of the application.

After the orientation, they will ask you to attend the training. It would be a 12 hour training – day 1 6 hours and day 2 another 6 hours. but it depends. if you did not pass the evaluation on day 1, you will not continue through the application nor the Day 2.

If you’re near the area, they would ask you to have the onsite training in Ortigas. Well, I suggest to grab the onsite training because I think it is much better. Plus you’ll get to meet a lot of people. Meeting new set of friends is always a great idea!

Day 1

Well honestly I am not really convinced to go onsite. But I told myself that I should try. Glad I did. I met a lot of amazing individuals. Aging from early 20’s to 60’s. Yes! Teachers by Profession, Nurse, Call center Agents, housewives etc. Some are just looking for a part time job, some for a change of career or like me, starting over again. I don’t know, but our batch seemed to get along very well.

We had a lot of fun, well I did. 😀 Hahaha since it was my first time to interact with a lot of individuals after 2 years of being idle.

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Class Discussion

Our Trainer Ms. A was amazing, her accent is a wow. Plus her energy is overflowing. We never got bored! Don’t worry— meals are free. We had Jollibee for lunch and merienda. 😀

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Seatmates 👭
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Dra. Vicky Belo ❤

Met this wonderful woman. Very humble and sweet. 😍

See our happy faces? #TeamNeyney

After the training we were asked to wait outxside the room and Ms. A will call us 1 by 1 to know if we passed the day 1.

I am already feeling down. Because I had a lot of corrections on the long vowels and short vowels of IPA.

What is IPA?

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association as a standardized representation of the sounds of spoken language.The IPA is used by lexicographers, foreign language students and teachers, linguists, speech-language pathologists, singers, actors, constructed language creators, and translators.

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Example

The underlined word is the example of IPA. /ɪkˈsplɪs.ɪt/ yes, this was what I usually skipped in a dictionary. Plus we were asked to use the UK version with accent aswell.

I am not used to speaking in English, I am quite shy actually. Because in the Philippines- people tend to laugh at you when you’re speaking in English. They will say things like “trying hard”.

Okay so, my name was called.

Ms. A “Hello Carla! Hmm let see. You have to work on your long and short vowels. Okay? But other than that, you are good! So congratulations! You’ve made it!”

WHAT THE?! I WAS SO SHOCKED!

Thank you, Lord! ❤

DAY 2.

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With a lot of what ifs in my mind, I continued. Half of the faces I saw Yesterday were not around that time. From 21 we were reduced to 8- plus another 2 newbies apparently they had their day 1 earlier than us.

That afternoon we were going to apply everything we learned from both the day before and that actual day. We have a DEMO! not just 1 but 2. First demo will be with Ms. A if we passed we will have a second demo with a Chinese. It is either redemo or If not, you will have to say goodbye and start all over again.

Lucky for me, I was paired with Chris. Chris is one of the Top of the class. He helped me out a lot. He let me practice on him. He helped me with his suggestions on how to deliver my lessons well.

Thank you, Lord! I passed the first demo! Woooo felt like my heart was coming out of my chest! Pumping so hard! 😂

On my 2nd demo with the Chinese representative, I was so nervous that I know I was not able to deliver my lesson well. I already know that i won’t make it.

She asked me what I think of my self and my performance? I said, “I think I did good on the first part, but later on I got so nervous and was not able to do it very well. I am so sorry.”

Then she did pin point all the mistakes and short comings that I did. She also noticed my Short and long Vowels. But also the good ones like, “you looked at the camera its like looking to your student and I think that is great, you are smiling and very energetic, you explained words I don’t understand, you correct my pronunciations”.

I am so down, I didn’t even noticed that she already congratulated me for passing the demo. I Thought I was asked to have the redemo. So I asked her again. She said, “No, no! You passed! Can you make it to the ONBOARDING this 7pm?”

OnBoarding? Oooooow!!! I said yes of course! Never thought about traveling From Ortigas to Quezon City in 30 minutes. It is already 6:30.

Thank you, Lord!

Lucky for me it was Sunday! Yey I made it just in time! 😂

On boarding is where you will learn about the system you are going to use. Also the rules, the penalties so on and so forth.

We finished it by 9 PM.FB_IMG_1488688479309.jpg

After 2 years!!!! I AM FINALLY HIRED! ☝❤

-Teach CA

XOXO

Mrs. D 💋

A War Against Postpartum Depression

What is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year or more.

The exact causes of postpartum depression are unknown. Changes in hormone levels during and after pregnancy may affect a woman’s mood. Many non-hormonal factors may also affect mood during this period:

  • Changes in your body from pregnancy and delivery
  • Changes in work and social relationships
  • Having less time and freedom for yourself
  • Lack of sleep
  • Worries about your ability to be a good mother
  • Etc.

A lot of women is suffering from Postpartum Depression every day. She may be your friend, your cousin, your neighbor, your wife or even your Mother.

My “PPD” started after giving birth to my son. I’m going to break down all the causes of my “PPD”, I’m hoping that through this experience you’ll learn something or at least prevent something.

I am worried about my ability to be a good mother. I came from a broken family; I grew up without my mother beside me. I was raised by my Grandparents, Tito and Tita (whom I called Mommy and Daddy) in the Province. On Sunday’s my Father will visit me and would have to leave early Monday morning for work, because he was working in Manila (2-3 hours’ drive Depends on the traffic).

I am worried that I won’t be able to raise him well. a lot of “What ifs?” I sure know how to change diapers; I’ve done it with my cousins. But how about if he cries? what if he gets sick? What if something happened? what if I can’t? I want him, I love him. Yes, no doubt! But what if he doesn’t like me? Is my affection enough to show him how much I love him? I don’t know!

One of the biggest factors of my PPD is the changes in my body, from 45 kgs to 69 kgs! That’s what? 24 kilograms in 9 months! I thought I’d lose the big belly after he came out, but no. I didn’t. Whenever I looked at myself in the mirror, it feels like I’m staring to someone else. Who is this woman standing in front of me; she’s got this big black bags under her eyes, this big belly and a lot of stretch marks all over her body. She looks tired. Time came, I don’t want to look at myself in the mirror anymore. I don’t want to go out and be seen by anyone. I cried every night saying foolish things about my body.

What makes it worse are the people around me. Who kept saying things like “Ang taba mo!”, “Pinabayaan mo sarili mo!”, “Losyang kana!”, “HIndi mo na mababalik yan.”, “iiwanan ka ng asawa mo.”, ‘Ang baboy mo.”, and so on and so forth. I can go all night, I heard a lot of hurtful things. Even though I’ve been vocal enough (even on my Social Media Accounts) that I am suffering from PPD. Sometimes the people you expect to be there for you, are the ones who will put you down. All I wanted to hear are the words like, “kaya mo yan.”, “Okay lang yan.” Sadly, people nowadays will judge you based on your appearance.

As he was growing, characters and attitude starts to show up. People now says, “Spoiled kasi!”, “Bakit ganyan yan?”, “Ikaw lang ang kilala.”, “Ano ba yan?”. HELLO! He is only a year old! what do you expect from him? To behave like grown-ups?Instead of saying awful things about my son why don’t you teach me how to correct him instead. Or rather help me on correcting him. It is depressing in so many ways. I am the mother of the son you’re talking about. Why? is it not normal for 12 months old to act like that? I am starting to ask myself, am I a good mother? Am I raising my son well?

Lastly, Self-worth. I know I am doing a lot by being a Stay-at-home-mother. But I miss everything about the outside world. I want to work and grow as a person. To be able to earn my own money again, and finally help my husband financially. I want to be able to provide for my family. It sounds easy. But no it is not easy. Because now I have him. I have my son to think about. I wouldn’t want him to be raised by a “Nanny” especially now that he is just building his character. I want to be there for him as long as I can.

Actually, I can work in the comfort of my home, there are a lot of home based job. But the problem is, I am not a Teacher I’ve tried so many times to apply as an ESL but get dumped over and over again. I tried to apply as a Social Media Manager, as a Writer as a Data Encoder but they’re all asking for samples. Which I have none, that explains this (Blog). It’s hard! Especially if (like me), this is not your forte. I am a graduate of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila with a degree in BS Tourism and Travel Industry Management and I don’t know a thing about being a teacher, or a writer. Okay, I might know bits of bits but that is not enough for them. I can’t go back to the field I’m used to. It requires a lot of energy and almost every job is by shifting schedule. I can’t do. At Least not now.

Suffering PPD is not a joke. There are dark days. Dark days include; crying without a reason, getting mad without a reason and worst hurting myself because I feel worthless. There are times that I wanted to go to the Psychiatrist, but I didn’t. I talked to God instead. This depression will eat you alive if you don’t know how to hold on.

Before 2016 ends, I told myself I wanted to be better. I asked God for his guidance, and his Mercy. I wanted 2017 to better.

It took me a year and 3 months before I finally won my battle. Took me this long to finally see myself as a person again. I know I cannot bring back the body I used to have. It’s okay. I’ve earned a lot more.

With his Mercy I was able to see the light again. Thank you Lord.

Isaiah 40:30-31New International Version (NIV)

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

To my Dear husband, THANK YOU for not leaving my side no matter how rude I am, how awful I look, no matter how depressed I am. I shut him off sometimes, but he waits for me with arms wide open. I love you, Joey.

To my son Jan Carlisle, Thank you baby. You might now know it yet, but you saved me. I love you, baby.

To my Sister Gerri, who never get tired of me no matter how annoying I can be. Thank you. Know that I am always here for you, just like you are to me. I love you, sister.

It took me a year and 3 months before I finally won my battle. Took me this long to finally see myself as a person again. I know I cannot bring back the body I used to have. It’s okay. I’ve earned a lot more.

To husbands and Families, she needs you. This is the time that she needs you the most. Show her love and support no matter how rough the roads may seem. Remember she created a life inside her belly. She had been to a roller coaster journey, be there for her. It may take weeks, months, years, who knows? But by simply letting her know that you’ve got her back, would be the a great help.

And to you who is suffering from PPD, look around you. See the people who are reaching out to you. Think of your baby, he needs you more than anything. You have to fight! Stand up! If I can do it, you can! I know it’s not easy, but you have to try. Things may get messy but believe me, it’s worth the fight. You’ve got to fight for yourself, your baby and your family. 

Pray my Dear sweethearts. You’ll be fine. I know. 💕

Love & Prayers, 

XOXO

-Mrs. D 💋