Call me profe!
[an abbreviation of professor]
I’m two months in my second year of Spain. Maybe after living here a year you’d think I’d have just settled back into my life, living siesta filled days and eating lots of food. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth!
About a week after I got here I began my CELTA course, which is a 4-week course in order to prepare me to be an English teacher. Intensive isn’t a strong enough word to describe it. I remember the night before the course started I could hardly sleep. Everything had led me up to this point and I started to freak out, not sure if I could really be responsible for language development of other people! I think one thing we are blessed with is that we cannot stop time. Every day continues and passes and we are either ready or not but we step forward. I had to begin teaching the second day of class! Oh I can’t even explain my nerves at that point. How would I teach without a minute of experience! A few deep breaths and simple thoughts reminded me that I had 25 years of life experience, why did I think I needed more? Less than five minutes after standing in front of the class I slipped into a zone. Time started to fly, I was having so much fun, I looked at the clock and my heart dropped realizing I had to finish! The next four weeks passed extremely quickly but at the same time, each single day felt like an entire week. The work we had to do, the plans, the procedures, the research, the papers….. on multiple occasions I decided that there wasn’t a single week in college that compared to a week during this course – even during finals! And like everything in life, the course passed by. I got my certificate saying I completed the course and literally slept straight through the next two weeks. Call me profe!
The next stage was to look for a job. Because I don’t have work papers, it was difficult to even get interviews! I did have a few that were rather sketch, others that could offer me two classes but that were over an hour away, and I thought how lucky I am to be an American – working my butt off to be the best I can be and then not even looked at twice because of my legalities! I’ll tell you, if it wasn’t for Jane Austen, those two weeks would have been rather depressing. My mom has given me her entire collection and so I would spend sometimes up to five hours a day reading her novels. In the afternoons I was au pairing again, working with these two incredible children. Alba, the youngest, seems to think I don’t understand any Spanish and will tell everyone – although a majority of the time she is speaking to me in Spanish. Even though I had a place to live, two kids to keep me sane (or insane…), food on the table, and some great literature, I still felt like I needed more. I needed to use my new knowledge. I started to catch up on sleep and became restless. All the interviews I had wanted me to work in the afternoons but I was committed to the family until November. It seemed like no classes would be starting in November and I would be stuck. And then I struck gold. I had an interview with a company that hires English Teachers and sends them to different businesses throughout the city. I was excited about the professionalism that was displayed during the interview, they have the same goals for students as I do, and the best part was the two classes they wanted me for were early enough in the day that I could teach and still be an au pair! It was perfect! I was hired. Call me profe!
A couple days later I went in to the office to get the information for my first classes. During the meeting they told me that had two more classes in the afternoon that they wanted me to take. I told them I couldn’t because I was committed elsewhere until November and asked if they could hold the classes. They said they couldn’t and they hoped I could work something out. I don’t know how many times I’ve said this but the family I live with is absolutely amazing. I told them about the classes and they didn’t even think twice! They told me that they want to do everything they can to help me. The more classes I have, the more money I can make. The only thing is that I would need to start finding a place to live and move the beginning of November. I took the classes, tried to prepare as best I could, and went to my first one. Oh the nerves I had! Dressed up like a professional, doing everything I could to look confident, I walked into the room and began preparing. Eventually the students came and it didn’t even take five minutes before it felt natural. Every class I taught was the same. And even now as I’ve gotten to know them, I still get a little nervous before each one. But I’m more nervous hoping they will be able to learn from the things I have prepared and it will be interesting enough to keep them motivated. This is something I will deal with at least through the first year if not forever. I accept it though, as my dedication and desire for my students to learn. I’ve been given more classes and I’m now teaching about 19 hours a week. Every day I’m busier than I would like, I don’t have as much time to read Jane Austen, but I am happier than I can express with words. Call me profe!
The last few days have been quite stressful as I need to move out in about four days. But I’m staying calm because I know it will work out. Everything always does. 🙂
Living here in Spain a second round is a little bit different. The first year I was all about adapting and becoming part of the culture. That hasn’t changed, but I have allowed myself to miss things from home a little more. Like food or TV in English… But I’ve found ways to incorporate some of that into my life, although that hasn’t stopped me from being my adventurous self. I’m super excited for the direction my life is going. A lot of new changes are coming up and a lot of new places are still yet to be discovered. My feet haven’t slowed down yet, I’m still powering through my life. Call me profe!