Posted in Teacher motivation

Leaving Spain

The rumours were true: no feedback from the boss meant they were satisfied. My colleague kept saying:

“Just wait, they’ll ask you the last week to stay on!”

It was actually 2 weeks before the end of the term. The boss came in to the class, handing me my pay check and then went on asking:

“So are you planning to stay on?”

I felt the curious eyes of my pupils around me. They might not have understood the words but they grasped the shock on my face. I did not expect the question in the middle of the class!

I could’ve said yes. The hours were great, the salary was sufficient, the environment beautiful. It would’ve been good for me to continue learning the language.

When I made a pro-con list, all the logical reasons were on the pro side. But it didn’t feel right. I love teaching but I’m not a funny person, I was not able to entertain the kids the way they deserved to. I was not able to feel as good about myself in those classes the way I deserved to. The way I did with the teenagers and the adults.

So I said no. It would’ve been easy to get over it and say yes but I chose the uncertainty in the hope of feeling better about myself and my performance. Even if the kids, their parents and hence my boss were satisfied, I wasn’t. I knew there were people out there who could do better and I knew there were students out there whom I could teach better. So I chose to give them a chance.

My Spanish adventures have come to an end but my teaching days are not over. I’m in Budapest for the summer trying to get by with private tutoring and if the visa comes through in time, I’m off to a further land in August: the oriental beauty of China awaits. Exciting days are coming. Only because I chose to say no when it would’ve been easy to say yes.




My soul breathes music and exhales words.

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