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General Article

Adult Education Instructor

Adult Education Instructor

Hello, I work in the adult education industry teaching English and literature to adults who want to better their chances at a good job. My clientele, because of the nature of my profession and my location (Los Angeles, California), means that I have a great deal of students who have just become a part of this country, and so speaking Spanish as well as English (And some Chinese) is an absolute must. I have 15 years of experience at this work, and if I had to describe myself in only three adjectives, they would be “patient,” “thoughtful,” and “curious.” I hope that I do not do myself a disservice by bragging about character traits that are actually less developed within myself than I myself may see them.

I am of full Mexican descent, which seems to help me in my profession at this particular location, because many of my students are Mexican, so I can not only understand them linguistially, but culturally as well. Knowing the slang cuts through a lot of the learning curve of translating Spanish based things into English based things. English is one of the slangiest languages in the world. I am male, which I don’t know if that helps or hurts. I know that being male is less productive than being a – beautiful – woman. It has been proven that people of both genders listen to beautiful women more frequently and with more intensity than anyone else. I have experienced what I perceived as slight discrimination against me because of my race and culture, as in I was passed over for a promotion. A much less experienced person got it, even though I was definitely the favorite among staff and students.

I would describe what I do as teaching the nuances of the English language and also important books to my students – things that will be relevant for them to communicate with employers to find work. The most common misconception about what I do is that it is dry and boring and literal. I deal mostly with psychology – both the psychology of my students and of the employers that they will face. I teach Rocky movies as well as Shakespeare. Why? Many employers in blue collar professions can relate to Rocky. I teach them how Rocky’s broken English is sometimes more influential than perfect English. It’s in the communication, not the perfection of linguistics.

I have a high job satisfaction now; I would put it at a 10. As you can imagine, my teaching techniques were not quite the most orthodox, and so faculty fought them on occasion when I first started. However, my theories about the psychology of people have proven to be very close to correct in many cases. I have helped people get work. I am proud of that.

This job absolutely moves my heart, because I can see the work that I do and the positive impact. I have letters from people that I have taught who say that they have the money now to take care of family members and bring their children over so that they can be with them again. I can not imagine a better job. And I am good at it, so I have definitely found my sweet spot in life.

I suppose that something unique that readers should know about me is that I was thought retarded when I was born because I took an incredibly long time to speak as a child. When I did, I spoke in sentences that many people could not understand. I was ridiculed as a child because I often spoke in analogies rather than straightforward. However, these are things that all help me as a linguistics teacher.

I got started in this line of work by falling in love with one of my teachers, actually. The whole thing above about beautiful women? Well, my 8th grade English teacher was incredibly lovely, as well as incredibly learned. I had a crush on her, well, I think I still may have a crush on her. I won’t say her name because I don’t want to get in trouble from her husband! He even knew that I was in love with her back then! I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher after that – to instill the same feelings in others that she had in me. Not love necessarily, but the intensity with which I studies and the amount of information I was able to take in that year – incredible. No one made fun of my language skills after that, because she not only taught me linguistics, but she taught me how to communicate with people.

In the working world, there are many things that you will have to deal with that have nothing to do with your mission at your work. However, others will make these things seem superlatively important. And they probably are – to them. However, what I have found is that most people tend to try to project their weaknesses and their inability to do their own work onto you. Do not let them. Do your job the best you can, and no matter how much you want to help someone else, trust that the best way to help them (even if it is a boss) is to let them help themselves. Always stay true to your unique mission and never doubt your ability to complete it.