Considered working as a Bilingual Teacher? This interview will take you down the career path of a Bilingual Teacher including the ups and downs you can expect in the position, what it takes to land the job, what you can expect to earn and more. This is a true career story as told to AllBilingualJobs.com and is one of many interviews with bilingual professionals which among others include a operations specialists, a paralegal, and everything in between.
The Career Path Of A Preschool Teacher
I am currently a preschool teacher in Miami. Prior to this position, I worked as an after school care teacher for approximately three years. A typical day for me begins at 6:30 AM when I wake up and get my family and myself ready for work. I leave for work at about 7:30 AM Once at school, I review my lesson plans and pray that my students go home having learned at least one new thing for that day.
My parents and siblings were born in Cuba; I was born in the United States. Since I live in Miami, neither my ethnicity nor my gender has worked against me. On one occasion, when traveling out of Florida, I was told I spoke with an accent, but it is a Floridian accent and not a Spanish accent. Some people automatically assume that you will have an accent just because you speak another language.
I am fluent in both English and Spanish. I believe my being bilingual has been a help and not a hindrance because some of my students come from Spanish-speaking homes and when I meet with the parents or grandparents, I am able to communicate effectively with them. I currently have two children in my class who speak no English, so it is easier for me to communicate with them in Spanish.
On a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate my job satisfaction an 8. I think that if the school administration gave me an assistant to help with the students, I would be well over a 10 as far as contentment with my position is concerned.
I was basically thrown into my current position. I had applied for a position as a teacher’s assistant but my supervisor thought I would be better suited as a teacher. The hardest part for me is putting together a lesson plan and trying to hold the children’s attention.
Unfortunately one of the things they don’t teach you in school that you must learn once you are in the position is the most effective way to tune out a child who is crying for no apparent reason. It takes years of practice to master such a skill.
I started in this line of work because I always wanted to teach, but I got married and waited for my husband to finish school while I worked. Shortly thereafter, I got pregnant and wanted to stay home with my children. Now that my family is settled and the opportunity presented itself, I was thrilled to accept this position. The one thing I would change or do differently if I could, would be to go back to college and get my teaching degree.
If I had to pick one, I would say that parents are actually the strangest part of this job. Some of my parents are completely flabbergasted when they learn that their precious child had to be put in time out for whatever reason when they are the model of good behavior at home.
One of the most exciting parts of my job is when I can actually see the light bulb go off and know that they understand a certain concept I have taught them. For instance, I am currently teaching my kids the days of the week. I was so thrilled when I asked one Monday morning if anyone knew what day of the week it was, and one of my students said it was Monday!
One of the things I am not crazy about is when a student has an accident in his or her pants and I have to help them clean up and get changed.
I believe my stress level at work can range from moderate to very stressful. I am responsible for making sure 15 three-year-old children stay safe each day, they are learning, and they are happy with me. My job hours allow me to maintain a comfortable and healthy work-life balance, especially now my own children are older and self-sufficient.
A rough salary range for my position is about $25,000.00. Considering my job responsibilities and the fact I have been entrusted with the lives of these little ones, I do not believe I am being paid nearly enough.
I work with children all day so I experience countless rewarding moments. Recently we celebrated Grandparent’s Day. I introduced myself to one of the grandmothers in the class and she said, “So, you are the famous, Ms. Patty! My grandson talks about you all the time. He loves you so much!” I am proud I have left that kind of impression on these little children.
My most challenging moment is when I try to teach over a student who is crying at the top of her lungs because she wants to go home. I would like to forget the student who sat in his chair and threw up non-stop, even though I told him to go to the bathroom. I do not deal well with vomit.
In order to ascertain a teaching position, you must have an associate’s degree as well as a 40-hour certification from the Department of Children and Family.
If a friend of mine was considering a position in my line of work I would encourage her to fill out an application as long as she loved kids and had the patience to work with them for eight hours each day.
As a teacher I receive plenty of vacation time: I get paid holidays off, including two days for Thanksgiving, two weeks for Christmas, one week for spring break and the entire summer.
One of the more common misunderstandings associated with my job is when you tell a person you are a preschool teacher some assume you are a babysitter. What they do not realize is by the time these kids leave me in June they must be able to recognize their numbers, letters, be able to read sight words and spell their names.
My job definitely moves my heart; I have 15 little lives entrusted to my care. I love each and every one of them and am honored that I have the privilege of teaching them fundamental facts that will prepare them for their next year of school.
If I could write my own ticket, I would definitely remain in this field but would like to teach four-year-olds, since their attention span is a little longer than that of my three-year old kids.
I am very fortunate in I have a great job and I love what I do. This in itself is quite unique as not too many people can say the same thing about the job position in which they currently hold.
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