For a few jobs in the past I had to use a two-way radio for communication. Signals were often weak so we had to use clear and quick ways of talking to each other. So, we used codes. Specifically 10 Codes (Police Codes). I was never actually trained as to what any of them meant and had to figure them out from context.
The obvious and most used was 10-4 which simply means, OK, or Copy. I used these codes so often that I found myself using them outside of work and in my everyday life. At first it was on accident or as a joke, but eventually I discovered other co-workers doing the same thing. We actually found them quite useful a lot.
So, I decided to look up their official meanings. If you ever find yourself needing to use walky talkies (or speak in code) for communication, it might be useful to know some of the basic ones.
10-4: Copy, Understood, Acknowledge, Affirmative.
10-1: Bad reception, unable to copy, change location.
10-9: Repeat. Unable to copy.
10-20: Location or “What’s your location?”
10-21: Call by phone.
The rest are almost strictly meant for police or emergency situations. It seems that each section of 10 (0-9, 10-19, 20-29, etc.) are in their own category with some overlap between categories (I’m not sure, that’s just what it looks like).
Here’s the list.
A few years ago, I was waiting for a public bus that was late and the girl sitting next to me started FREAKING OUT because she didn’t have her laptop with her. She kept telling the other bus people that she couldn’t be late for class because she could lose the client. “Is she a teacher or a student, and who refers to either one as clients?” I thought. Nobody seemed to care or pay attention except me. I wanted to figure out what she was talking about.
I asked some questions but she got defensive (I’m pretty sure I came off as creepy rather than concerned or intrigued). All she told me was that she was a teacher online, her students lived in different countries, and it was super important that she wasn’t late for class.
Once the bus arrived I left her alone and never saw her again, but, after that incident I was determined to figure out how she was doing it. Although I never figured out exactly how she did it, I’ve discovered a method that matched her situation.
Cafétalk is an internet service that allows anyone to teach private lessons through skype. It’s not as simple as creating a profile and clicking a button, but, it’s not too hard to get started either. You have to talk to an administrator and go through an interview so they can determine what you’d teach and whether you’d make a good tutor or not. Most of the lessons on Cafétalk are language (mainly English), and most of the students are Japanese, but depending on your teaching niche, you can find the right students for you. The students on the site range all ages from different countries who want to learn anything from playing guitar to origami.
Once you’ve created a profile (account), you have to be a unique and reliable teacher in order to gain the attention of students. There are plenty of students on the site but there’s also a ton of extremely qualified teachers too. If you’re a beginner with very little teaching or tutoring experience, it’ll be hard to get going. You’ll have to market yourself, have interesting lessons, and of course, BE THERE ON TIME.
You don’t even need a desktop; you can do it all through a smart phone. The pay is determined by you. After a few hours of set-up and research, you could be teaching at $20+/hour immediately upon finishing your scheduled interview with an administrator. The real work comes from creating your lessons and getting your students to enjoy your lessons so they’ll come back on a regular basis. If you do this, there’s no reason you can’t make a decent income with only a few lessons a day. That being said, don’t do it for the money, you have to love your lessons. If you don’t love to teach, then I suggest going somewhere else.
First of all, and I know this is obvious, BUT, it’s much easier to do this if you have a bachelor degree in anything especially education or English. Secondly, although you can do this anywhere in the world, even in English speaking countries, it’s much easier to do in Asia. If you have a bachelor degree, and English is you’re native language, finding a job teaching or tutoring English should be about as easy as getting an entry level job in the US. So, what I’m going to explain is how to teach English as a second language in Asia with/without a college degree.
If you go to job boards you’ll see a lot of ads and job qualifications requiring or wanting you to have an ESL or TEFL/TESL or CELTA. Although they are important when it comes to actually landing a good job they are secondary to a college degree. A four year degree seems to be an international basic. Associate degrees don’t mean jack sh*t overseas (for the most part). Tutoring is different from teaching. Tutoring can be done without any degrees or certifications. You can always teach under the table (illegally) but if you’re really serious about teaching legally with consist pay and benefits, go get a bachelor degree in something universal.
If you don’t want to do that then ignore all the ads for online TEFLs etc, and go through a job program such as ECC (http://www.eccthai.com). Although there are legit online ESL degrees out there, most companies don’t care about them unless you’ve already gone through a hands on course. Instead, for around 1500 US dollars, and about a month long training course you’ll get legitimate TEFL/TESL certification and a job at the end of it. I know people who’ve done this and they’re very happy with this method. The only catch is that the job at the end of the program has to be with the company you went through to get certified and you have to sign a year-long contract with them. This would be amazing but you’ll also discover that your company probably doesn’t pay as highly as others and you’ll want to make more an hour since it’s available. All in all though, this isn’t a bad deal because you’ll get your money back almost immediately and you can save all the money you would have spent on a university. After a year, you’ll have everything necessary to go work somewhere else without much hassle.
If you don’t want to go through a program, or get a college degree, you can get a CELTA. http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/teaching-english/teaching-qualifications/celta/
CELTA is accepted by almost every legit company as the “best” English teaching certificate. It’s achieved through Cambridge University. If you don’t have any other degree, you’re going to want this. It’s around 2,000 US dollars to get but it’s the best training and internationally recognized program. You have to take a pre-test in order to take the classes, but it’s not hard if you can read and write at a college level. The course can be be taken online but not completely. You have to spend at least two weeks doing hands on training with actual students before you can finish the program and you have to do that at one of their campuses and they don’t have too many. So, you’ll want to mentally add a plane ticket to the expense list of this method.
Lastly, I want to add that none of this is really necessary but strongly suggested. If English your native tongue that could be all you need. I gave myself a month to try the method of simply going to Asia and asking around. I did this in China, Taiwan, Thailand, and South Korea and was offered a job more than once to teach English to college students and I don’t have a college degree (I know that’s obvious, right?). That’s how I figured a lot of this stuff out.
I did find out that the cheap $500 or less fully online certifications aren’t complete garbage either. They’re extremely helpful and most of them have solid information and are internationally recognized. However, it’s more important that you get first hand training, than it is to have this certification. If you do have any teaching or tutoring experience, even if it’s not in English, then having this certification will be a big boost because you’ll be both certified and have first hand experience as a teacher, which are the two main requirements.
So, it’s time to either go to Asia or get on a job board. Figure out what companies are looking for. If you like adventure then buy the cheapest ticket to Southeast Asia and go. It’s much easier to land a job if you’re there in the flesh. If that seems sketch or you want a guarantee before taking the risk of buying a one-way ticket to a foreign land, then get on a job board.
Here’s two of the best:
If you want to know how to teach English on-line, just wait, I’ll write a post for that. Also, if you want to know the details of how much you can expect to make as an English teacher and how much work it really is, I’ll write a post for that too.