Happy 4th of July!
Hope you are enjoying the long weekend!
Unfortunately the Spanish don’t honor America’s Independence Day as a holiday so Diego and I both had to work as normal on this July 4th.
My Current Employment
Today I want to update you guys about my work situation in Gijón – and also talk a little about my future career plans here in Spain.
Right now I would describe myself as being in limbo – I have applied for my work visa, all my paperwork was accepted, so now I’m just waiting until my official documents arrive in the mail. When they get here I’ll be able to work the same amount of hours as a Spanish person, hooray!
In the meantime I’m making a living by teaching private English lessons. I currently have six students. I meet with each twice a week for 1-2 hours and we practice English together 🙂
The most frustrating/difficult part of this process has been (surprisingly enough) acquiring students. Since I’m new to the city I’ve had to rely on posting these signs around town as a means of advertising my “services”.
Thankfully I also met another American girl in my same situation (teaching private English classes for extra income) and she recommended me to two people that she knew. So thanks to my hand made signs, my fellow American friend, and some people Diego knows from his pharmacy, my client list is growing!
So What Exactly do you DO in Class?
The majority of my students studied English extensively in school/university. They’ve got the basics down, now they are looking for someone (in my case a native person) to practice with. Usually I’ll prepare a short introduction lesson – for example past simple verbs vs. past continuous verbs – we’ll talk about the grammar – and then we’ll have a conversation about the stuff we’ve just learned about.
Each time I leave one of my private classes the thing that sticks with me the most is how impressed I am with my students. The majority of them are adults so the fact that they are going out of their way to learn/practice English with a native speaker is something that I find very brave. Speaking in a foreign language you aren’t fluent in is not only challenging but also makes one feel very vulnerable. You’re not 100% confident with what you say, you’re talking with an accent, you’re speaking with someone who knows 100X more than you about the subject… all in all I’d say it makes for a very intimidating experience. So props to all my students!
…Down the Road
Even though private classes are rewarding and fun for me, they are not a reliable source of long term income. That’s what I am hoping to being working full time at a private English academy when my work papers are finalized. In Spain there are tons of these little academies around the city specializing in afters school tutoring in English for students and adults. I’m now in contact with a couple of said academies and they sound interested in hiring me! Keep your fingers crossed that everything works out for September!
Diego is also keeping busy in the job department. He works at a pharmacy down the street from our house. He works hours in the morning, comes home for lunch, and then returns to work again in the afternoon. What a trooper!
Hah, so now that I’ve shared with you that people are paying me money here to help them with their English, I’ll try to keep the grammatical errors on TRIS to a minimum!….
I’m thinking of you all on this American holiday! Until tomorrow!