As my time with Meddeas this year ends, I found myself considering my options for next year. I have gained an incredible amount of skills through Meddeas, which would be applicable in a variety of different fields. I have become better at time management. There have been several times where the bell has rung at the end of the 55-minute lesson at the exact moment I am wrapping up the activity and it never fails to impress my students. My improvisation skills have also improved greatly. Nothing better prepares you for completely shifting gears than having a perfect lesson plan derailed by students who want to talk about other things or review for an English exam. While I always come to class prepared, I have learned to adapt my plans and be flexible.
Living with a host family and joining language exchanges has allowed my fluency in Spanish to improve and I would feel comfortable having a job where I would be required to speak both languages. I have also improved my teaching skills. If you had told me five years ago that I would end up teaching at a secondary school in Spain after graduating from college, I would have laughed in your face, but here I am. I’ve learned through all this that my most successful lessons are the ones where games and creativity are incorporated. I have improved my public speaking skills too. Also, I have learned how to read the energy of the class when my students enter. I can tell what activity is appropriate to gain their focus.
These skills are applicable to most professions. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to teach English with Meddeas in the first place.
Teach English with Meddeas for a Second Year
Next year, I have accepted a position towith Meddeas, this time in Palma de Mallorca. Instead of living with a host family, which is what I did this year, I will be living independently. After spending this year living in Spain, I feel confident in my ability to become fully independent. In the future, I see myself teaching English in many different parts of the world. There is no doubt that an extra year of experience with Meddeas will only allow me to further enhance my skills as an educator. Through Meddeas, I have taken a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course and, next year, I will be able to take an Expert in Bilingual Education course. The combination of the TEFL course and teaching in the classroom has allowed me to put the skills I learn in the course into practice.
One of my close friends has been accepted to teach English Language Learners through Teach for America in the United States. Another friend has plans to remain in Spain and work at a bilingual outdoor camp. One of my friends from the States will be returning as well to teach through Meddeas at a school in Valencia.
Go Beyond Teaching!
This is not to say that teaching is the only profession Meddeas prepares you for. I have several future careers I am considering.
I would love to work in a study abroad office or for a study abroad program. Having spent extensive time travelling and teaching abroad, I feel my experience will make me an excellent candidate. In a similar career path, I could also see myself working as a travel agent. Living in Spain has given me the opportunity to travel often, and at a low cost, and I want to be able to help other people travel to their dream destination. I could also see myself working for a nonprofit organization that helps the nonnative community in the United States in some way. I had a job similar to this in the past. Nevertheless, now I feel my skills have improved beyond translation alone and I feel much better prepared and empathetic to families adapting to new environments and a new language.
Are You Bilingual in Spanish? ¡¡Sí!!
Being fluent in English and Spanish opens a variety of doors in addition to what I have mentioned. In the United States, the number of Spanish speakers continues to grow, and many jobs give preference to candidates who are bilingual. Having experience living abroad is also a great way to demonstrate how you can adapt to new environments with ease. It also makes you an ideal candidate for any job that requires travel.
Meddeas is a one to two year program that helps you gain and enhance a variety of different skills suitable for many different careers. Obviously, I think Meddeas is a worthwhile and rewarding program for Language Assistants: I would not be participating for a second year if I did not love what I’m doing. My organization, leadership, and social skills have all improved through this program. I consider Meddeas to be an excellent addition to any resume.
By Amanda R., Language Assistant 2018/2019
Apply now and gain international experience!
If you enjoyed this post about how to gain a TEFL certification and practical experience, don’t miss out the following articles:
– Life After Meddeas: Now I Have a TEFL Certification and a Fantastic Experience
– Life After Meddeas: One of the Best Decisions I Have Made