Well I cannot believe it had been two months since I landed back in Madrid, and I have only just last night unpacked my belongings into my own cosy apartment in Malasaña. I feel like I haven’t stopped moving in two months and as much as it has [mostly] been a lot of fun, the relief I feel now I have a bed to call my own is delightful…
“Here I will stay”
I came here to Madrid with learning Spanish as my number 1 priority. It was why I decided to become an Au Pair first (rather than teach English) as I was told that this would be the best way to immerse myself in the language and culture.
I made a mistake.
Before Christmas the pangs of homesickness made me feel a little lost and pessimistic about life here in Spain’s capital. However, since returning and getting back into the swing of things, I can honestly say I’m having a freaking awesome time.
Note: The following post had been published without being proofread, to show readers what a mild dyslexic’s writing looks like.
“If you’re dyslexic, then how can you be a good English teacher?”
“But could you do that well without extra time in exams?”
“Don’t scientist think dyslexia isn’t a real thing?”
My so-called learning ‘disability’ and my career are two things that people tend to raise an eyebrow at. People’s understanding of dyslexia is limited to understanding it’s something to do with reading and spelling, and so naturally it would make sense that someone who struggles reading and spelling wouldn’t make such a great langauge teacher…
In 2014 I moved to Madrid to work as an Au Pair in Majadahonda, for free room and board, and 50 euros pocket-money a week. Having held a paid job since I was 16, I had no idea just how insecure not earning money would make me feel. Not being able to save and seeing my savings dwindle away every time I fancied exploring my new home, was a total bummer. So when the opportunity to double my weekly wage came my way, I pounced on it.
Then I trebled it.
And in the end, quintupled it.
Here are my nuggets of wisdom based on my experience as a native English speaker in Madrid…
Just because you know English does not make you qualified to teach it.
Many volunteer programs involve teaching English in schools, but there is a difference between knowing a language and knowing how to teach it. Chucking some youngsters into a classroom with your fingers crossed will not result in able English speakers after 1 month. It’s not that you’re bad for trying, but really it is just a waste of time. Continue reading “OPINION: Teaching English as a Volunteer”