Living Abroad

Next steps, or how to live like a shark

Image via InsidersAbroad.com

Sometimes I think I’m like a shark, or at least an Annie Hall-esque approximation of a shark: if I stop swimming and stay in one place, I’ll die. (I say this as I write on a Friday night in my PJs, listening to Carly Rae Jepsen. I guess you can’t keep swimming all the time.) (Is it even true that sharks have to keep swimming or they’ll die?) (I just googled it; it’s not true.) Since I graduated from university, I haven’t lived in the same city for more than 2 years. And the time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things, namely where I’ll be swimming next.

I’ve had an amazing time in Poland: I’ve made so many good friends and had the opportunity to travel extensively, and I even learned some Polish, despite the language’s best attempts to get me not to speak it. The work I’ve done is so drastically different from what and how I taught in the US, and seeing the way affluent children are educated (versus the mostly poor children I used to teach) has taught me a lot about how to be a better teacher in general, and what I could’ve done better when I taught in Kansas City. The work environment at my school was also something revolutionary: I actually got enough planning time that I didn’t have to prep stuff at home all the time! I had afternoons and evenings and weekends entirely for myself, without worrying about setting aside time to plan lessons and grade papers.

But no place is perfect, and the flaws at my school are starting to get to me. I love living in Wrocław, but I feel that familiar itching in my bones, the restlessness of my soul, or whatever Instagram metaphor is popular now. It’s time for a change. I was looking for different positions in cities with lots of international schools, and I kept coming up against one big obstacle.

Being a teacher who received teaching qualifications through Teach for America (a story yet to be told/ranted), I do not have a bachelor’s degree in education. My degrees are in history and Spanish. A lot of schools won’t even look at your CV if you don’t have an education degree, so I decided to go back to school to get my master’s, and I’m enrolling in a program in Bilingual Education!

Image via Wikipedia

I considered going back to the US for said program to spend all that sweet AmeriCorps money from TFA, but even with that 8K treasure chest, grad school is still fucking expensive in the US! So I looked around Europe, where I found a one-year program at a Catholic university for much less than any public US university.

So I’m moving to Murcia, Spain to learn more about teaching people a second language and hopefully find myself a hot Spanish fisherman like in the Almodovar movie Julieta. (Even though the beach is an hour away, maybe he’ll fish in the river? Whatever.)

Xoan, said hot fisherman, from the film Julieta
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21 thoughts on “Next steps, or how to live like a shark

      1. Oh! What did you major in? Lol. That’s one of my question for the Blue Sky tag! I guess I’ll just have to wait for you to do the tag and I’ll read it together with the others! XOXO

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  1. I relate to you as I am also an English language teacher living in Rome. Although, they say that getting an English teaching job in Europe, is competitive, I guess it just depends where. It was surprisingly very easy to get the job here doing private lessons and they don’t require any, if not much, experience. But good luck with your future venture!
    http://www.lacasabloga.com

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    1. I’m not actually an English teacher, I am actually a primary school teacher. I am certified in the US. A lot of countries want to see a degree of some sort with the word ‘education’ to give you a permit as a school teacher.

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      1. Oh wow, I didn’t realize some countries were so strict about it. But then again the qualifications to work at a school and just being a private language teacher I’m sure are very different!

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      2. Right, these are requirements to be the primary teacher (reading, math, science, history, etc) not just a second language teacher. Private clients just depend on who is willing to hire you!

        Liked by 1 person

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