Tag Archives: teaching

Learning and Teaching Year 2

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Whew! I needed a break after that and although I was offered several jobs, I decided not to take any of them and let my husband work for a bit. During the year, parents of one of the students I taught in the kindergarten approached me and asked that I give private classes to their sons in the afternoons. I was reluctant, but they finally won me over and thus began a completely different type of teaching experience for me.

I began teaching private classes in the afternoon and evenings and on Saturdays. I charged $50 pesos per hour (and haven’t raised my prices yet), provided materials such as workbooks and language learning games, and drove myself right to the student’s doorstep on my new moto. This arrangement seemed to work out well for everyone. Since I lived way off the beaten track, my driving myself ensured that parents didn’t have to worry about transportation or the time needed for transport in scheduling the classes. Plus, I was a temporary babysitter with the advantage that when my hour was up, I could leave the students all safe and sound in their own homes and not have to wait around for the parents to get back from work.

Over the years, I have taught students aged 2 to 75, each class is tailored to the student’s educational goals. I’ve had some students for years and others that give up after just a few lessons. I am constantly designing new activities to make my classes memorable and the learning more authentic. It has been an incredible learning experience for me.



See Also: Learning and Teaching Year 1, Learning and Teaching Year 2, Learning and Teaching Year 3, Learning and Teaching Year 4, Learning and Teaching Year 5, and Authentic Teaching and Learning and me


Filed under Employment, Teaching

Learning and Teaching Year 1

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Finding employment is not a problem for me. It’s keeping it that is. I have a degree in Education with endorsements in both English and Spanish and a specialty in English as a Second Language (ESL). As it’s currently hip to say that a school is ‘bilingual’, I have more than enough job offers every year. It’s the keeping employment that seems to be the problem.

I started at a bilingual kindergarten just 6 months after we arrived. I didn’t feel ready to jump right in there with both feet, however, my husband thought it would be best that I work while he built our house. Another perk was our then 4-year-old son would be able to attend the same school, introducing him to this new culture while allowing him to have his mommy as a teacher for part of the day. I taught 2 groups of 20 students ages 4 and 5 and let me tell you, it was exhausting.

Don’t get me wrong, I was up to the teaching part. I had all of our son’s age appropriate toys and activities to work with. It was the other adults that made it so tiring.

I was expected to be the classroom teacher, lunch supervisor, traditional Mexican dance instructor (like I even knew a traditional Mexican dance to teach) gym teacher, music teacher, art teacher (although what the owner really wanted was for me to do the artwork and have the kids just sign their names) singing coach, special event decorator and janitor, all without raising my voice. I did try pointing out that I was the English teacher and not trained or talented enough to complete these other roles, but then they labeled me as a complainer.

I endured, sometimes going home in tears, the entire school year, which here is from the end of August until the first week of July. It wasn’t for the pay, (a mere 2000 pesos every 2 weeks.) It wasn’t for the Christmas bonus. (which I didn’t receive not knowing enough to insist on it). It wasn’t because the kids were especially nice. (What a bunch of rich kid brats!) It wasn’t because the parents liked me, kept telling me that I needed to translate everything so that their kid would understand (So tell me what is the point of me being an English teacher?) It wasn’t because the owner liked me. (She always had something to complain about with my teaching or manner or activity or materials.) But I endured so that my husband would be free to finish our house and we could stop renting in town with its myriads of cockroaches and noise.

And I made it. I quit the last day of classes. Of course, then the owner didn’t want to pay me the last check, but I carried on a bit, pointing out that I had paid for my son for the month of July, so I was entitled to that last check and I wouldn’t demand August’s pay. And finally, I got it.


See Also: Learning and Teaching Year 1, Learning and Teaching Year 2, Learning and Teaching Year 3, Learning and Teaching Year 4, Learning and Teaching Year 5, and Authentic Teaching and Learning and me



Filed under Employment, Teaching