A few years ago, I was working as a duty manager at a rather prominent hotel in South Africa. This hotel although geographically situated in the lush winelands of South Africa, was out of this world! Its clientele was predominately foreign guests. They would arrive in all sorts of stylish manners, from sleek helicopters to even sleeker Ferraris and other extravagant sports cars, which I have yet to Google. An insignificant number of eight local guests passed the luxurious doors of this hotel and spa in the years I worked there. Because of the unwavering elevated standard, all employees were placed through rigorous training and sent on personality tests. The personality tests were rather interesting, it allowed the employees to comprehend what their co-workers’ strengths and weaknesses were, in a manner that was not intrusive, but instead might I say enlightening. There are four colours and I was, to no one’s surprise a vibrant, in-your-face red. For those that are not familiar with the colour personality tests, red is a…. shall we say, stubborn, optimistic, involved, (perhaps too involved), proactive and just get it done NOW type personality. It has its pros and naturally its cons. Although I will never admit to that, especially if my dearest husband says, ‘don’t just rush into things’.

 One would think all this drilling, training and testing would have aided me in many aspects of my life after this wondrous career, which I bid farewell to before the birth of my son. But I cannot help thinking, I wish I had for once heeded my husband’s advice and just taken a breath when I started with IQBar I left the gruelling hours of hospitality (which I adored every second of) to make time for our new-born son. However, my love for teaching never dwindled. I taught private lessons come rain or shine.  After a few months of teaching only a few hours a day, I had an unexpected epiphany. I would never go back to hospitality. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and would from that point moving forward, use it as my beacon of light. Guiding me through my life’s journey. This led me to teaching countless students, young and old alike. I love every second of it.

As with many things, the world evolved, and online teaching became ‘a thing’. I stumbled upon it, valued its endless possibilities and ever since, it has been like my shadow. A career choice I do not regret. So, this is where it gets interesting. I can only speak for myself when I say, it is best you learn from experience. And in the same breath you learn to compare things as you grow up. Grow wiser. It is human nature, comparing things, from people, relationships, one employment opportunity from another. It has become the norm to want to excel and climb the social hierarchy. So, when I started with IQBar my perception of online teaching was to a certain extend warped. Like a butterfly that has come out of its cocoon, its wings not fully splayed out in all its glory. My wings were still crooked and crinkled. My previous company was just that, a company. I was one of thousands teaching online for them. Nothing wrong with quantity. But sometimes it is not until you have realised how vital quality is that you realise something is missing. I taught to connect. I taught others, so I could smile. I taught so I could make a lasting impression. But I and my opinions didn’t matter. I was not even a blip on the company’s radar.

Don’t get me wrong the company had many amazing qualities, but the quality to appreciate its teachers, who spent hours a day smiling from ear to ear, despite a grinding headache, despite a toddler sick in the room next door, despite other personal circumstance, always pretending to be so jovial it would cause a circus clown to turn green with envy – well the company’s  lack of appreciation was just that: non-existent. When you were concerned about a student, emails would go unanswered for days, weeks at a time. Their students were strictly called ‘Clients’. It was a callous transaction and it was pulling me in deeper into its web of finely spun deception. I loved teaching. But I wanted to connect with my company as I have connected with so many of my students. But, it was not going to happen. Not in this lifetime or the next. The generic emails which were sent out daily, was written proof. I was not talking to a boss, or a manager, but to a machine whom did not care if the student was struggling on a level which was too difficult.  

And then it happened. The clouds parted and a small slither of dazzling light, bounced off the lining of the dark ominous clouds hanging over my head. I heard about IQBar as a red personality I threw all my energy into the new challenge. In the blink of an eye, I swerved ties with a company which was not supporting the students (or the teachers for that matter), and turned to a company which has become instead, might I dare to say, like family. A constant in my daily life. My wings were finally freed, each day a crinkle is ironed out. My metamorphosis to a butterfly had truly begun. Bit by bit I am experiencing an entire new world of online teaching. Has the transition been easy? No! I have done nothing but compare what I thought I knew to what I am now learning. It is bliss, to be able to ask questions, no matter how foolish they might appear and know you will get an answer. It is even more blissful to know that there is a blood, skin and bone person on the other end, with a heartbeat who will take into consideration your thoughts of a current student’s predicaments. Soon my wings will take flight and I will share my journey with you.