I’ve been a self-employed teacher for over 20 years and have never looked back. Well, … with the exception of a few times.
Working for yourself, you can “choose” your students and working hours – in a certain way, set your fees and run after Teacher Conferences in order to network (which I rarely do) and get new ideas (which sometimes do come).
Being self-employed one must be constantly updating one’s expertise, getting familiar with latest trends and materials – books, apps, pills, etc.
I’ve always prided myself of my ability – by God’s grace – of never being without a student portfolio – never been unemployed – if you get what I mean.
During all this time one of my main corporate clients has been the Arab Banking Corporation in Brazil – having taught past and present Presidents and a wide array of directors and VPs since 1994.
During this time I’ve been loyal to the bank having translated several of their annual financial reports and enjoyed some perks – had a badge that identified me as an outsourced worker which allowed me access to some areas of the bank. I could also have my parking validated. Well, basically that was all.
Now apparently, Human Resources – under new management – has decided to wage a war against Language Teachers – alleging that we take up unused meeting rooms during lunch time – that’s when classes take place or after 6pm when most meetings have already ended.
Now they’ve taken my badge away, so every single day I have to identify myself at the reception in the lobby and wait for authorization to go up. They are also requiring that I must wait downstairs for my respective student to come down to “collect” me and if I’m thirsty or need to go “powder my nose” in the gents’, said student should accompany me as well. Adding salt to the wound, if the student is late because of a meeting or any other reason, I must stay downstairs waiting, standing in a seat-free lobby. After all, we can’t tolerate loitering, can we?
So, this is one of the few disadvantages of being a self-employed teacher – I was complaining to my wife and she, the very commonsensical she is, just commented: “That’s the corporate world – you’re just a number”. And after rendering educational services for over 20 years at this fine financial institution I have nothing to show for it – not even a badge.
But I refuse to end this post on a grumpy note – after all these years I’m proud to show many students at that bank who today are fluent and feel comfortable when using English in the toughest business situations.