This English Teacher is On Strike

Hello peeps.

You know, something that I didn’t realize when I first moved to Mexico was how easy it was to get a job teaching English.

Now let me be clear – “easy” is relative.

In my situation, English is my first language, I had a B.A. when I arrived here and I eventually got a Masters.

Depending on the institution, you can often get a job teaching English with all of the above and without any teaching experience at all. None.

I didn’t have any training or studies in education when I first started nine years ago.

My first teaching job in Mexico in 2001 was pretty cool. I taught mainly adults and I really liked the program.

But the honeymoon teaching English and the job ended there in 2002.

And what resulted was a knotty string of English teaching jobs.

When I came back to Mexico last fall after my US tour, I jumped into another teaching job at a private school. We needed the money.

I left that teaching job in January for a freelance writing job that ironically didn’t work out.

One of the issues that I’ve been truly struggling with in Mexico since this past January is how to make a living in Mexico and not teach English.

Particularly not to elementary through high school kids. School jobs are a dime a dozen here.

But I can’t do it anymore.

For some of you who read this blog and I was your teacher, I don’t think that comes as a shock to you! lol

Sure, I had some great students who made my day, particularly at my last teaching job in Mexico City. You know who you are:)

But most of the time I was just very sad. Felt completely and totally useless. A babysitter with a Masters.

And it doesn’t matter the school. I always felt and feel the same way.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m the main breadwinner here in Mexico. I’ve made my peace with that.

But what I haven’t made my peace with is how me and R’s whole economic world shakes if I don’t teach English in a private school setting.

That’s the reality of the Mexico’s economy. It wobbles on broken toothpick legs.

Within that painful reality I have a lot of privilege in this broken economy, I know.

I could go and work in the States. But I’ll be there without R.

Many of us spouses of deportees do make that decision to back to the US; oftentimes, the economic decision is made for us. I’ve previously done it for temporary periods of time. I’d like to try to not do it again.

So what happens now that this deported man’s wife is “on strike” about teaching English in Mexico’s private schools?

Stay tuned kids, stay tuned.

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8 thoughts on “This English Teacher is On Strike

  1. I recently started teaching private English lessons for a couple students here in Veracruz. Not something I ever felt I wanted to do, but so far so good. I do NOT think I could teach at a private school. Have you thought about private lessons in your home?

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  2. Well for us we made the move to Tijuana, Rosarito more exact. It’s 5 hours plus round trip and I have to start driving at 2:am But I’m with my Family. I can certainly appreciate your situation. Stay strong.

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  3. This is one post I can completely relate to. I also tried to do the teaching English thing in Peru, because, as in Mexico, it was THE best paying job available to me. I only lasted a short time in 3rd grade at a “prestigious” private school where all curriculum decisions were based on how to keep the affluent parents happy. Like Amy, this is a large part of why I am now working in the U.S. making WAY more than I could ever make in Peru, even if I could handle teaching English.

    Of course, being away from my husband is not a great alternative. Sometimes I think I should just suck it up, get back down there, and teach some English 😦

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  4. Wow, your post is the story of why I’m in the US, basically. And teaching English is totally what I was trained to do: BA in elementary ed plus a Cambridge TESL certificate that trained me to teach adults (but in Europe, big difference).

    Still the worst job I’ve ever had. I taught 4th grade at a private bilingual academy and after 7 months I realized that if THAT was my reality in Mexico, I couldn’t take it any more. Plus even my “competitive professional salary” paired with Carlos’ income as an Interlingua teacher could not keep us economically afloat. Silly me for taking out student loans in the US to finance my pointless education.

    I feel the pain of this situation. It’s truly awful and ridiculous to have to leave your spouse because jobs and money dictate your life. 😦

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    1. Ooof, Amy! I really appreciate your comments. I’d imagine that the teaching scene here would be even more difficult to process and swallow when it is something that you specifically trained for. Big Hug, Giselle

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