Last June 2017, Envizion officially catered to Free Trial Lessons through project FTL. The project aims to find ways to convert more free trial students into paid up students. Since then, our FTL tutors have been performing beyond expectation.
Dubbed as Chameleon Enablers because of their ability to quickly adapt to any type of student, these premium tutors are risk-takers and are far from conventional. Let’s get to know the front liners of RareJob as they share the challenges and what they love most about being part of Team FTL.
Q: What made you join Team FTL?
Christy: It was the trust of someone who encouraged me to join the FTL team. I was still a new employee when a mentor, who I really admire, asked me to join this team. At first I was a bit hesitant because I was still new in the company and I didn’t even know what FTL was. But I never regretted the decision I made because it was a new door of opportunity that had opened for me.
Jannus: There are two main reasons why I decided to join the FTL team — CHALLENGE and EXPLORE. I wanted to challenge myself and be part of this project since it will be more on handling “potential” new students who are interested in trying the RareJob services. I also wanted to explore my skills not only in teaching but also in uplifting one’s interest in learning and studying the English language.
Glaidel: I joined FTL team because we are RareJob or Envizion’s frontliners. Not only do we conduct lessons for first-time students, but we also make them feel the “More than Tsada” and “Student first” experience that the company embodies.
Gab: I really wanted to do more for the company. Since day one, I thought that the company was paying me too much for what little work I do, so I relentlessly applied for any special projects or tasks and I just somehow ended up in the FTL team.
Q: What are the responsibilities of an FTL tutor?
Ianna: We are the face of RareJob; it depends on our attitude and approach if we can convince students to join and be part of our family. We should be motivating, smiling, patient, and at the same time accommodating for the students to feel that they are welcome to join and learn English in RareJob.
Cyra: We are the front-liners of the company. We always make sure that our students will have a good impression by giving them good quality classes. In this manner, we will be able to convert trial lesson students to regular ones.
Jannus: Aside from conducting good quality lessons, as an FTL tutor, I am also responsible in making sure that the student will feel at ease and comfortable since most of them are first-time English learners and Skype users. It’s part of my responsibilities as well to really see to it that the students will really enjoy the lesson in an Envizion way: MORE THAN TSADA.
We are the face of RareJob; it depends on our attitude and approach if we can convince students to join and be part of our family. – Ianna
Czar: To provide a safe and comfortable environment to students and potential students alike. We all have our challenges and issues in life but once we enter our work stations, we are transformed to the ideal tutors that our students deserve and to the ideal workers that the company deserve. Anything less than 100% is an insult to the students, the company, and our fellow tutors who are giving it their all.
Glaidel: Being an FTL tutor, my primary responsibilities are making sure that the student is comfortable and calm during our first lesson. First impression lasts, they say, so I try really hard to make them feel as comfortable as possible to make the lesson flow smooth.
Mae Lanie: As an FTL tutor, you need to help the student relax. When the student is comfortable, they will talk more and enjoy the lesson. Also, you need to identify what motivates the student to learn English and try to align the lesson to their goals.
Christy: As an FTL tutor, you are the front liner who opens or closes the opportunity for a student to be encouraged to study English. This responsibility isn’t easy but it’s always worth it. Giving students their first lesson experience is really important. You need to make them feel comfortable enough to learn. It’s as heavy as gold but it’s a rewarding experience.
Q: Tell us about the team of people in FTL.
Christy: The members are really friendly and helpful. They are always fun to be with and our monthly meetings are always lively because of these people. And they are great singers and are very competitive!
Ianna: Amazing! I remember the time when I was just starting out as an FTL Tutor, I would PM them and ask for advice and in the blink of an eye, they would reply immediately. Without them, I will probably find it very hard to conduct lessons and handle students, so I am very thankful.
Hiacynth: It’s a bunch of talented, responsible, and independent yet crazy individuals. They are the team that you can rely on and share fun moments with.
Jannus: Miss Jill, our lovely and generous manager who always treats us with delicious pizzas every time we achieve and exceed our goal; Jiam and Lee, the very supportive Operations Staffs who never failed to remind us about do’s and don’ts and who were always there for us since the beginning of this project; and lastly, my teammates from Waves 1-4, who I really admire for being so patient and courageous enough in handling free trial lessons. Whenever I need assistance, these people are always there willing to help me.
Czar: They’re great! They’re very sociable, competitive, and fun to talk with. We enjoy co-worker banters from the nature of our work to the mundane and nonsensical things.
Cyra: Well, what can I say? Hahaha! Each one of us has our own uniqueness. Our personalities may not always match but we really get along very well. When it comes to sharing ideas, we always see to it to choose or do the things that could benefit not just one tutor but everyone.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve encountered so far as an FTL tutor?
Ianna: Sometimes if the student is Level 01, I need to use translations and some Japanese phrases for us to understand each other. I sometimes feel sorry that I cannot understand their feelings but I always put my shoes in their situation. I know it’s not easy to learn another language so I would just smile as best as I can and make them feel at ease.
Czar: Since handling FTL is entirely different from regular lessons, I have to switch weapons and be familiar with the new sets of SOPs and get used to them. As a regular tutor, we rely on our training and experience as our sword and shield. But FTL students have a different nature; basic training is not enough and is lacking and sometimes disastrous if relied on too much in the field. For this type of challenge, we use our wit, ingenuity, adaptability, and flexibility. Accompanied by our most valuable skill and asset–our patience.
For this type of challenge, we use our wit, ingenuity, adaptability, and flexibility. Accompanied by our most valuable skill and asset–our patience. – Czar
Gab: Sometimes there are students who are not familiar with the tools that we use for our lessons. Sometimes there would be a random student who speaks excellent English and you struggle to switch back from your usual English tutor speaking pace to your natural conversation pace. Since most of your lessons will be new students, the kinds of challenges are a bit unpredictable.
Kat: I think the biggest challenge to date was handling a low beginner student with very limited to zero computer literacy. I had to be a very patient tutor as well as a tech support person.
Q: How is it different from being a regular tutor?
Jannus: Being an FTL tutor is quite challenging but fulfilling at the same time. Challenging because there are some students who really have zero knowledge and background in studying the English language, so it requires more patience and understanding when giving out lessons. Fulfilling because these students are really willing to learn and improve their English skills, no matter how nervous and uncomfortable they are when talking to foreign tutors. The willingness and determination that they give during their free trial lessons motivate us to give also the best services and lessons to them.
Every once in a while, you get a student that comes back to you, and you see on his student page that you were the one that gave him his first lesson. You would see the first level check that you did together and how much better the student has gotten since that time. – Gab
Czar: The mission objectives is our difference. The regular tutor guarantees quality and superior lessons; just like them we have those parameters in mind but it’s our secondary objective. Our primary is to present an atmosphere of joy and safety to potential students; to address them not as statistics or targets but as individuals with unique circumstances and qualities. Because Envizion welcomes everyone who wants to have a great time speaking and learning English.
Gab: The main difference is that most of your students are going to be new. The chances of seeing the same student again is low. But every once in a while, you get a student that comes back to you and you see on his student page that you were the one that gave him his first lesson. You would see the first level check that you did together and how much better the student has gotten since that time. It feels weird that you were part of his first steps as a RareJob student — you know, in a good way.
Glaidel: Being an FTL tutor is quite different because the students that we are teaching has zero experience and knowledge on how the lesson will go. That is why, we have to be patient all the more.
Cyra: It is totally different from being a regular tutor because we don’t have any idea yet who or what our student is. We don’t have any notes or information on what or what not to do with this particular student. So we really need to be careful and prepared most of the time–like a chameleon. Patience is also a big plus if you are an FTL tutor.
Q: What do you focus on during your Free Trial Lessons?
Christy: I always focus on motivating the students and I always consider their feelings during the lesson. I want them to enjoy the lesson and be confident enough to speak English. I want them to be comfortable so they can do their best. I let them know that it’s okay to commit mistakes and learn rather than not trying at all.
Ianna: My goal is to make students feel that they belong in RareJob. Here, they are welcome and the tutors are really extending their hands to help and scaffold them. I also guide them and adjust to their level so that they will not find it hard to answer my questions. I make sure that at the end of our lessons, they are satisfied with the 25 minutes that we had.
Hiacynth: In each lesson, I consider the student’s purpose of learning English. I always make sure that at the end of the lesson, they are a step forward in achieving those goals.
I want them to be comfortable so they can do their best. I let them know that it’s okay to commit mistakes and learn rather than not trying at all. – Christy
Czar: My goal is to lessen the stigma and nervousness of the student. For technicalities, my voice and pacing control, and for methodology, I try to be as relatable and sociable as possible. Students have the tendency to look down upon their selves during lessons so I level the playing field by relating to them by just having a conversation and most importantly by being nice. The dictator type of teaching is detrimental to most of them; I utilize a participative method every time I have Free Trial Lessons.
Kat: I actually would like the student to feel and realize that learning English isn’t that bad and that it is fun. A lot of students feel nervous or apprehensive and you can feel this vibe during the introduction. So I make it a point that after our lesson, they get to realize that it is not bad at all to learn English. In addition, my goal is to present learning English the Rarejob way well so they will enroll and be a regular RJ student.
Mae Lanie: I try to focus on retention, pronunciation, and sentence construction. I see to it that after the lesson, the student learned something. I also make sure that they know how to check the chat box because I want them to review the lesson and my feedback there.
Q: Why should other CBTs join Team FTL?
Hiacynth: They can have exciting and challenging experiences every day, secured rest slots, and other luxurious benefits.
Gab: Because it’s a great team. Because it’s a good opportunity to challenge yourself. That and the guaranteed breaks and bonuses.
Jannus: This is an opportunity for other CBTs to broaden their teaching skills and meet more diverse Japanese English learners. It’s also a good way for them to help motivate and uplift students’ interest in learning the English language since most of them are hesitant and afraid to study the said language.
I think they should try to test their limits and in the process, get to know their potential. Testing your limits is a good way to be able to be a better educator as well as a better person. – Kat
Czar: I only have one thing in mind, actually, and that is to go beyond the normality of regular lessons. If this message reaches any of my fellow teachers, know this: If you wish to go above and beyond your normal duties and responsibilities as tutors, then join FTL. You will grow and change not just as tutors but as individuals. You might discover abilities that you didn’t know of. So take a chance and see what happens.
Cyra: Other CBTs should join Team FTL because it really feels nice to try something new. We should get out of our box or comfort zone for us to know and learn other things that we can or still do.
Mae Lanie: They should join Team FTL because it’s really fun and fulfilling. It’s like watching your child take their first step. Some students will reserve regular lessons with you after they convert, so you will really see their progress.
Kat: I think they should try to test their limits and in the process, get to know their potential. Testing your limits is a good way to be able to be a better educator as well as a better person. I get to relate to my students on their hobbies/interests, the way they see things in life, and the way they communicate. It’s a two-way street and I am loving this job of being an FTL Tutor despite all the challenges I encounter every day. Knowing your potential keeps your mind in the right track and eventually you’ll be a better communicator.