Name: Jade Bailey
From where: Houston, Texas
Educational Background: Undergraduate Degree in Communication Science and Disorders
Position: Office Staff and English Teacher
Working term at EF: One Year
1. How do you know about Escuela Falcon? / Why did you decide to work here?
Just before graduating college with my undergraduate degree I decided to make my plans for post- graduate time abroad in Mexico to work on my Spanish and learn more about the country. While researching English teaching jobs in the lovely city of Guanajuato I stumbled upon a dated English teachers wanted listing for the school, Escuela Falcon. I liked the standard of qualifications they were asking for and after reading over reviews about the school it didn’t take me long to realize this was the place I wanted to work for.
2. How do you like Escuela Falcon and Guanajuato so far?
After spending three weeks working for Escuela Falcon and living in Guanajuato I feel very content with my decision to come here. The city is very active and interesting but still small enough to get around walking everywhere and run into people you know which I love. I have been so welcomed by both the citizens of Guanajuato and with the staff of Escuela Falcon. It took no time to feel like a part of their team at the school which was very important for me considering how new and strange everything was at first.
3. What do you keep in mind when you teach or communicate with students? Are there any of your own strategies that you use to improve students’ learning processes?
At my university the main focus of my study was on how to teach communication. While the population I am trained to work with is different than the population I work with here overall the tactic is the same. I believe what works the best for me is to put myself in my students’ shoes. As somebody who is trying to speak Spanish this is easy for me to do! What I have learned about myself by being here is that it is easy for me to adapt my teaching strategies to the student. I may go from one session teaching an adult and focusing on practical conversational lingo, to a session with a child who needs tons of gestures and sing-song voicing to get the message. It’s all about relaying the message in whichever way you can do so!
4. When do you feel rewarded when you work?
This is an incredibly rewarding job! There is so much excitement when you are able to get somebody to understand a concept in a language outside of their own. I think the most rewarding moments for me are when I succeed in captivating my students. That is always my goal when I work and it is so exhilarating for me!
5. When you teach English to children, what is the biggest challenge for you? How do you overcome it?
When you teach English to adults, what is the biggest challenge for you? How do you overcome it?
The most challenging thing about teaching English to children is knowing how long you need to spend on one topic and then knowing when to move to the next one. Sometimes I feel like my student is so close to understanding something and then when I feel his/her attention span is shortening I know I have to move along and come back to it later. It is hard to abandon a subject but it is also important to always keep them learning rather than bored.
As for the adults, the most difficult thing for me is knowing which area of learning the language will be most useful to them. If the class is limited to an hour I want them to get the most out of the lesson and adapt it more to their needs than anything else. Figuring out what their needs are can be a struggle.
6. What kind of home culture are you proud of and what kind of Guanajuato culture do you like?
I come from the huge city of Houston, Texas and because of the enormous range of diversity in my city it is impossible to say it is limited to one culture or one way of living. What I am proud of is that I was exposed to a variety of people from all over the world while living in Houston and could always explore different cultures within my very own city.
What I admire most about Guanajuato is the interactions between the people all over the city. Everyone is walking outside and living life with each other rather than around each other like they tend to do in other places. My favorite thing is walking through the center of the city and seeing all the high school kids out and about and the older people sitting on benches listening to music. It isn’t just limited to tourists enjoyment, this is the way of life here.
7. Please describe your hometown /What did you like to do there when you were a child? / What kind of child were you?
I come from a suburb of Houston so I wasn’t a part of the chaos of the inner city until after high school. My suburb was nice because it was one of the older neighborhoods with big trees and all the houses were different. As a kid I was outside everyday playing with the other kids from the neighborhood. I was also a total bookworm so you could often find me reading up in the tree of my front yard.
8. What is your favorite Mexican food?
My favorite thing to eat in Mexico is the healthier options of street food. After work when I’m starving I can get freshly cooked garbanzo beans, potatoes in chile, and cactus, with homemade corn tortillas on the side…yummm.
9. Where is your favorite place in gto?
I have yet to end up in a place in Guanajuato I haven’t liked, I am sure after living here longer I will eventually them but as of now my favorite place to be in Guanajuato is walking the streets and admiring all the shops and the people.
10. What do you like to do for your free time here? (What is your passion?)
As of now I am very busy so every day I look for a different, comfortable café to study in, which has become a hobby of mine. My passion outside of that is dancing! I love that Guanajuato has ample places to go dance. I think I will learn a lot here outside of my classes and develop that passion further.
11. Which part of the world would you like to travel if you have the time and money?
My ultimate dream would be to spend a significant amount of time working with exotic animals in an animal refugee center somewhere in Africa. I would love to spend time helping injured elephants, chimpanzees, or any animal for that matter.
12. If you could acquire one more language immediately (except Spanish), which language would you choose and why?
I want to understand a language from the East that is outside of the Western domain of languages. I think I would chose Arabic because I have a desire to travel through the Middle East someday and explore the culture all over that part of the world.
13. What is your goal this year?
My ultimate goal for this year is to get better working with people, significantly improve my Spanish speaking abilities, and to be a part of the wonderful culture this region of Mexico has to offer.