I have not always been a Spanish teacher
It may surprise you but actually my teaching experience and knowledge is equivalent to my first profession: Organizational Development and Human Resources.
Do you know how many years I have been teaching Spanish to people from all over the world? Many, I’m teaching since 2011 and I’m happy because more and more people are joining me.
If you don’t know me, my name is Carleana and I want to welcome you to the Spanisch à la Carte Blog, a blog to learn Spanish. And I want to tell you my story…
I am Venezuelan, from Caracas, I live in Switzerland since 2008 where I have built my life with my family, learned new customs and two new languages (German and French).
I have to keep my brain always on something else
I haven’t learned to be still, I’m always on something. I’m a nerd, that’s what they say. You have to know I’m a learning fanatic. I like to learn, to have my mind always working, I’m very restless and when I’m not on “something” it’s hard for me to rest.
The nuns were a part of my life for a long time because
In Venezuela most schools are religious and for some reason my mother decided that I should go to an all-girls school, where I studied humanities. There was such a division in my country, I don’t know how it works now. The thing is that if you were very good at numbers, chemistry and physics; the nuns decided your scientific destiny and otherwise your “vocation” would be oriented towards the humanities.
And you know what? I think they were right, because my vocation has always been to help and somehow I can’t deal with injustice in any sense. I think that’s why I have a hard time thinking of business models where I can’t pay people what they deserve for their work.
Andrés Bello Catholic University
Since I was three years old I fell in love with this university. My father and my sister had studied there and I had attended a couple of times to a class, so small I wanted to study chemistry, nothing further from reality. So, at only 18 years old, one hundred percent humanist, I took an entrance exam at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello and very happily began my studies in October 1994.
I have always been very committed to what I do, and once I graduated I had the opportunity to work for several organizations and projects being my last experiences Movilnet and AxionTI. My main role was oriented to human resources consulting and organizational development.
Why do I tell you so much about the studies?
Because in Venezuela, there was a time when studying hard was synonymous with having a good job and earning enough money. You couldn’t be satisfied with just doing an apprenticeship, you had to go further. So I did a bachelor’s degree (5-year study) and then a postgraduate degree (3-year study).
I don’t need to tell you everything I have studied and probably still do at the time of writing this post. But somehow studying means knowledge, learning and everything can influence how I teach you Spanish. Because as a teacher you have to know everything. It’s a comprehensive profession.
I worked for more than ten years as a Human Resources Consultant, I loved my job and my profession, but one day things changed and due to circumstances related to the situation of the country, we began to think about the possibility of emigrating.
Emigrating is not easy and from my point of view it must be something well planned. We were convinced that living in another country meant that all the conditions were in place and that translated into a good job. Fortunately that aspect was covered.
So in December 2007 we landed at the airport in Munich, where we lived for about three months, while the functions of the department where my husband worked were transferred to Lucerne. We arrived in Lucerne in February 2008, where we have since built our lives.
Living in Switzerland
I think living in another country is a challenge. It all depends on your attitude, on how you assume it, but with all its pros and cons it is something that you must plan well. This planning should include what you are going to do with your life to continue your professional development.
In my case, the first thing I had to do was to learn German, integrate into the country and find a job. I was convinced that I wanted to experience another field of work where I could continue to support human talent and deliver knowledge.
The best part is that the need to support and facilitate is what set me on the path of teaching Spanish.
I am a demanding person and my premise is that to carry out a task you must be formally and professionally prepared for it. So I decided to get certified as a teacher and study the Master of Didactics in the Teaching of Spanish as a Foreign Language.
Since 2011 I have been working online and in person at various schools.
Why do I work in several language schools?
I’ll be honest with you, Spanish teachers are paid an hourly wage. That’s why many of us want to be independent. Think, as a teacher your work goes beyond the hour of class, you need to do a lot of work before and after the class. That’s why you find so many teachers who work as freelancers.
The truth is, when you go on vacation, miss class or fail your lesson, we don’t get paid.
Leaving aside the disclosures, which are a bit awkward, but so you know how important it is that you attend your classes. I’m not complaining, I have the opportunity to work, gain more experience, meet people and share with other colleagues.
That said, besides going against the tide as far as the profession is concerned, what else do I do?
My hobbies: what I like to do in my spare time
Besides being a book worm, I like to get up early, even on Sundays. From Monday to Saturday I also go to the gym. I love going out with my family and my dog for walks.
Another thing I love is to get to know new places and villages somewhere in Switzerland and the world.
The most important thing for me?
My family, and believe it or not my students, I start seeing many of you as my extended family. Of course also my work, because I love what I do.
What does it mean to me to be a Spanish teacher?
Delivering culture and knowledge through language; but at the same time it has allowed me to meet incredible people. Amazingly as it may seem, teaching Spanish is my bridge to integration.
Why Spanisch à la Carte?
I like teaching Spanish and I want to bring Spanish to everyone who has a desire to learn, to have a way to deliver knowledge beyond the physical classroom, to share material and anecdotes through this blog.
Having an online school is my dream that is slowly becoming a reality.
Now I would love to know about you, your history, your hobbies, your profession?