Teaching in Reverse

Technically, this job has me teaching in reverse. My ideal job is teaching Spanish, not English. I couldn’t find any jobs like that near me. Even when I expanded how far I was willing to commute, I came up empty. There was some translating work, and I looked into that because it could have been interesting, but nothing came from those interviews.

I managed to find a few Spanish to English teaching jobs but English is so much harder to teach. It is not that I don’t like English;it’s that there are so many rules and I don’t understand them all. For example, the word isn’t funner, it is more fun. There’s a reason behind that and I just don’t know it. I know the right answer because I know what sounds better, not because I understand a bunch of grammar rules that I probably last went over in elementary school. Then there are words that we just can’t agree on how to pronounce. Like pecan. I know half of you read that as pea-can and the rest as puh-cahn. Other languages have accent marks specifically to make things like that less ambiguous. You could argue that now I’m talking about dialects, and that happens just about everywhere, and you might be right. All I’m saying is that English doesn’t give you a lot of guidance.

Then I found this job. It’s only a year of teaching Spanish to English, mostly so you get the experience of living in Spain and expanding your vocabulary so that you can reach a native speaker level of fluency. It also sounds impressive to the parents on school nights. It is a win-win for both me and the company I work for: I get to live in Spain for a year and get paid to do it, teaching a language that I already know while getting experience in the thing I want to do professionally (teach and speak Spanish all day long). Then I go back to their school in the U.S. and teach the students there to speak Spanish.

When I originally did the interview, I honestly didn’t think I was going to get a callback. This job just seemed way too good to be true. Then I did get a callback and a second interview. It was amazing. The language department head and I really hit it off, and before I knew it, she had offered me the job. What!?! Me, working for a high-caliber private school that when I was younger, I wouldn’t even have had the grades to get into? That seems funny to me.

I keep thinking that I am dreaming. I close my eyes in my flat that I share with another teacher, and expect to wake up at home in my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house. So far that hasn’t happened, but I haven’t been able to stop thinking it at night!