Daily Prompt: Sixteen Tons

How do you feel about your job? Do you spring out of bed, looking forward to work? Or, is your job a soul-destroying monotony of pure drudgery, or somewhere in between? The Daily Post

Having a job is much better than not having a job. However, does this mean that I like my job? Working in a foreign country with a completely different set of values and customs ensures a day filled with adventure or misadventure, familiar or unfamiliar problems and challenges.

My job as an ESL teacher has its ups and downs. Most days students are cooperative and eager to learn. They arrive on time for class; carry out their tasks with enthusiasm and without complaining. I enjoy the interaction with students and I feel a sense of accomplishment at the end on the day.

Other days, for no obvious reason, the students are unmotivated, unruly and undisciplined. They stagger into class late, fiddle with their phones, chat in Arabic and disrupt the lesson. Classroom management is essential to survival on these days. I have to work hard to get the students to focus on their work. This requires energy and patience on my part and by the end of the day I feel tired and exhausted.

Working with many ESL teachers from diverse backgrounds is a learning experience second to none. (There are sixteen different nationalities in the English department.) Many of my colleagues have traveled the world, worked in other places and are skilled story-tellers. Every day provides an opportunity to learn something new.

Reading internal emails can be confusing, entertaining and challenging to comprehend. Just have a look at some examples from the last couple of days.

“This semester, I have noticed a most recent practice by a number of teachers in the center. Teachers waste first 10 minutes of their class time waiting for late comers to join classes. They keep hanging by classrooms’ doors hunting their students. Unfortunately, those teachers are sending false signals to students. Time waits for nobody. ”

“The mail sent 5 minutes before is incomplete. Discard that mail and follow the information given in this mail. Please do the needful.”

“The usual weekly sending of student list to your email will stop for the meantime as we will try a new way for you to access it. ”

“More so, since I was yearning to share my views and very eager to enhance more my communication skills, I decided to volunteer on the third topic. It went well and I made the crowd awed with my presentation and instilled something valuable in life. This is the remarkable feature of the Toastmaster’s Session – making the participants learned, inspired and motivated; that, at the end of the day they will say “this is my most valuable and most memorable experience.” In fact, you will not know what positive impact you can make once you had inculcated something valuable to people.”

Overall, my job is easy. There is very little stress in the workplace. I have academic freedom to do what want in the classroom. I can supplement my lessons with my own material or follow the text-book. My superiors are kind and helpful. However, the  best thing about my job is the two-month break in the summer.

In many ways I have a perfect job but it is not my dream job. I would rather have a job in my own country. I spent fourteen months at home applying for jobs but to no avail. The job market is tight in Canada. There are not enough jobs to go around. Yet, more and more temporary foreign workers arrive in the country as more and more Canadians are forced to seek employment overseas. This is the reality and until I get a job at home I am extremely grateful to have my current job.

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