I somehow knew teaching would be fun when I first met my sister in law. You see, she speaks pretty good English, but she still makes some amusing mistakes. For example when she had the flu and told me her nose was constipated. Now this is funny stuff! I figured that if there were more moments like this I would have a blast teaching while feeling like I was actually helping them by correcting these cute blunders.
My sister in law, bless her heart, also tries to correct my Italian. But of course I am nowhere near the level she is in English so am just happy to be able to string more than 3 words together than to concern myself about the proper order of those words! I am constantly using the form “Tu” when speaking to strangers because it just doesn’t seem right to me to be using the term “Lei” when speaking to a man, even though I know this is the “formal” rule. Why can’t I use “Lui” which is the masculine form?
Anyways, my language issues aside, let me veer back to the topic of teaching English. Last year I had to hurriedly go back to Canada because of Visa issues. I left my teaching job prematurely with huge apologies and promises to return ASAP once I got my documents in order. This of course didn’t happen because the Italian Consulate in Canada refused to give me the neccessary Visa. It seems that I am too old!
So, I never returned when promised and was concerned about burning a bridge with the school and therefore ruining any future employment opportunities. It looked as though my teaching career was over before it even really got started.
I was already engaged to be married and our wedding was yet another bureaucratic hurdle for us to jump through. We had originally planned to wed in Italy but my future husband was never in Italy long enough to plan anything properly and my Italian was non-existent and therefore impossible for me to take on this task alone. After much discussion it was agreed that I would stay in Canada for the rest of the summer and plan our wedding.
Newly married in August, 2008, we headed back to Italy together. The new teaching season was ahead of me and I was confident that my proper Visa documents would be processed (I am still waiting by the way). To my dismay, more experienced TEFL teachers arrived to the city and beat me to the finish line on getting hours at the school. I got bumped!
Never a shrinking violet, I decided I didn’t need a “school” to teach English, I just needed “students”. This brings me back to my sweetheart of a sister in law. Together we wrote an advertisement for “Lezione d’inglese privato” – “Private English Lessons”. What a brilliant idea! She posted it at her local swimming pool with both our mobile numbers. She filtered the calls with the parents and I showed up for the full immersion lessons.
The phone has not rung off the hook, but that’s okay too. I have 2 young girls that I teach weekly in their homes. I have learned as much from them as I hope they have from me. Again, not always the easiest path, but rewarding just the same. In January 2009, I was hired on by another school where the atmosphere is friendly and the partners are willing to mold me into a great teacher! What more could I possibly ask for?