Updated: Jan 28
I joined Twinkle nearly three and a half years ago, the longest serving stretch I’ve ever done with an employer. There are several good reasons why.
First and foremost, I like the directors. Both Andrew and Brian are approachable and have always made themselves available even when they have been busy or looked tired. They have been there for me during personal struggles and professional ones, too. Andrew and Brian are pretty much the main reason why I still work at Twinkle. But there are other reasons why I like their environment.
When I first started arrived at Twinkle, I shadowed other teachers to notice how they taught from the textbooks, and a few days later, I substituted for teachers who were taking vacations elsewhere. This process eased me comfortably into taking on a full-time workload. I was pleased to have the luxury of so much training, and by the end, I was itching to just take on my own classes. The training process is longer and more complete than at other schools.
I’ve had few issues over the years. Sometimes, mums have been overzealous and demanded lots of attention, or student behavior has been challenging. I’ve found that the directors have supported me on these occasions. Also, the absence of bureaucracy has meant that whenever I’ve have a situation that needed addressing, I could go straight to a director, and not have to go through various staff which usually would cause frustration and delays. Problems are addressed quickly.
Avoiding micromanagement approaches and giving teachers autonomy to manage our environments, for me personally, has encouraged self-assigned responsibility to do my best within my teaching space. This factor has been another major influence in my decision to continue working at Twinkle for so long. I’ve always been expected to manage my time, and decide for myself which lessons from the curriculum to focus on in class and what to assign as homework. This has meant that I could play on my strengths and interests, and these include teaching history and even introducing Latin and Greek words on occasion.
In addition to teaching, I have also worked on editing speeches, creating curriculum, improving, and creating tests, and designing book covers. There’s usually a project or two that the directors will give you, and I see these as opportunities to use my existing skills or build new ones.
Another important consideration as to why I've continued to work at Twinkle is that I’ve always been paid on time. It sounds simple, but this is an significant factor when deciding whether to work at a hagwon. Salary has never been an issue, and on the few times that a mistake was made, it was fixed immediately.
Finally, I’m happy with my quality of life. Although I’m tired after teaching, I have the energy to pursue personal interests (usually) before coming to teach at Twinkle. On my days off, I can step away from my work-related responsibilities to focus on my passions, too. That means a lot of me, and I’m grateful that I can both assist Andrew and Brian with their dreams while creating my own ones.