Saturday, February 20, 2010

Spanish Teacher...fingers crossed!

Well, I've done it. I've submitted my application for Grad School to get a Master's in Teaching with a focus in teaching Spanish. I'm applying to DePaul in Chicago, but won't know for a few weeks but obviously already have my fingers crossed. Once I hear back from them, I can start planning what I will do next year, because it is still quite up in the air. I am just writing this blog to share with you guys the essay I wrote for application, because I think it will give you an idea of how much I've grown to enjoy my job. The prompt was: state your reasons for wanting to become a middle school or secondary educator and speak to your potential for becoming a teacher. Here it is...
I may seem like an unlikely candidate for the Masters of Education, seeing as a I have earned a BS of Marketing and have the bulk of my experience in Corporate America, but after teaching in Spain for two years, I feel like I have found my calling.

There are many reasons I know I want to be a secondary teacher, but deep down I think the most important are the fact that I find it to be a rewarding profession and I desire to share my love of cultures with young adults.

In one word,I would describe teaching as fulfilling. When I worked at Pepsi Bottling Group, spearheading a 3-city multicultural marketing event was thrilling. When I landed my first sale at News America Marketing, it was exciting. However, neither of these emotions can compare to the feeling I had the first time a student excitedly told me that our previous study session really helped her pass her exam at school.

Working as an English teacher in San Sebastián, Spain, I've been rewarded with similar moments which made my heart swell. Nothing can replace the sensation I get when I've helped a student succeed or when I steal a smile from an uninterested student who finally wants to learn.

Working in Spain has also immersed me in the language and culture of the country. One of my favorite Spanish phrases is estoy en mi salsa which basically translates to I'm in my happy place. I would say I've been in my salsa since I arrived - be it traveling or celebrating a Spanish fiesta. I love experiences different cultures and want to share that enthusiasm with future students, just as my high school Spanish teacher did for me.

Along with desire, I have a great potential to be a secondary teacher because of my passion to learn. Upon starting my current job, I had no teaching experience. As soon as I began, I focused on how to be an effective teacher and spent house creating and implementing educational and engaging lessons. It is an ever-evolving process, but one that I love and want to continue.

I also believe that my interpersonal skills are a great asset in becoming an educator. I can effectively communicate with a wide range of people, be it corporate board members or 14-year old Spanish-speaking students. I relate well with whom I am speaking and tailor my communication style to them and the situation. I know this will play an integral role in not only teaching secondary students the language but also how to effectively communicate in Spanish too.

Another quality I have that demonstrates my potential is a strong work ethic. From a young age,I learned to work hard for what I want. I put myself through college by taking the earliest classes so I could work 8-hour days. I studied hard, graduated cum lade and secured the job I wanted in New York. Then I jumped the ocean and came to a country where I barely knew the language or a single person when I arrived. I've tried to make the most of my time in Spain by attending a daily 2-hour language class and living with native Spanish people. When I set my mind on doing something, I put my entire self into it.

Lastly, I think that my firsthand experience with the language and culture will be an asset when I am a Spanish teacher. I believe that learning a language is more than just memorizing the words and that culture, literature and people play a priceless role too. Knowing the word for dance is great, but to tell my students about a tanned color-fully dressed woman dancing flamenco on a hot night in Seville brings a different dimension to their learning. My goal is not only to teach them the language, but to open their eyes to the world.

When I moved to Spain, I never expected to fall in love with teaching but it has truly happened. Ever since I realized it,I have done everything I can to make myself the best English teacher possible. At the same time I've been soaking up the culture and rigorously studying the language so that I can become an inspiring Spanish teacher when I return.

So, that's it! I hope it shares my love of teaching and inspires them to admit me! Thanks to everyone who helped in the editing process. I will keep you all posted :)


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