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'Teaching online leaves me time for my household chores'
Her alarm buzzes when most around her are fast asleep. It's 2 am and Minu Khemka in Kolkata is getting ready to start her tuition classes. Odd for many, but not for Minu and her students - in America.
A housewife, Minu, who teaches math online to students till grade X, or higher grade I as it is referred to in the USA, started this about three years ago. "I used to give private tuition at home when I heard of online opportunities in this field, " she says. "Of course, I did have to take an academic test and an online interview before landing the job. "
To begin with, she taught for four hours a day, five days a week from 6. 30 am to 10. 30 am, earning Rs 7, 000 a month. But soon she shifted to a different company that offered better remuneration at Rs 150-200 an hour. "Though the timings were more inconvenient, I preferred to move. It not only gave me more money, but also time for my household chores in the morning, " she explains. "Since we have to use the audio mode it works out better as there is no disturbance at night. "
But for a mother of two, does it become difficult to work these odd hours? "No, on the contrary, my children know that I teach and that helps them as it brings an educational environment at home, " says Minu, adding that she also takes home tuition for students, charging between Rs 1, 500-2, 000 per week per student for six hours of coaching.
So then why does she continue to do this work at such odd hours? She says she gets more recognition for teaching internationally. "Like it or not, that's how things are. People think you are a professional if you teach students from oversees;they give you more recognition. The certification I've got for teaching online gives me extra credit. "
This has, of course, come at a cost for 39-year-old Minu. "The biological pattern of my body has changed, and being in front of the computer continuously for long hours has led to eye problems and joint pains, " she says. She does not even find teaching students online so rewarding. "When you teach the same student at home regularly and see them achieve better results, it gives you a sense of satisfaction, " she points out. According to her, most online students, though friendly, are not so respectful towards their tutors.
Despite all this, Minu does not want to call it quits. She thinks there are growth prospects in the area since private tuition abroad is extremely expensive. If all goes well, she plans to launch her own e-tutoring platform and move from being a tutor to an entrepreneur.
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