I love watching students “get it” and find out that they really can use what they’ve learned in class. For some kids, that’s telling me they were their family’s translator on their vacation to Mexico. For others, it’s starting the year with tears and panic attacks, but ending the year having produced all manner of brilliant projects, or a parent telling me how his or her kid never liked Spanish before but now loves it and will even use it at home to talk to siblings.
Ironically, one of my proudest moments, and one that may have set me on the path to teaching, was getting fired (for doing a good job). I was tutoring a man in Spain who wanted to improve his English to get a new job. We worked together to prepare him for job interviews in English and one day he called me to tell me that he got a new job and that new job would give him free English lessons. That showed me the positive effect that I could have on other people’s lives.
I spend just about all of my free time during the school year playing soccer, but over the summers, I travel. I love to meet people from all over the world. Getting to see different perspectives and experience new cultures has been among the most valuable experiences of my life.