Teacher Spotlight: Juan Pablo Gargiulo
Meet Juan from Teach Abroad Spain 2016-2017! Check out what he has to say about living and working as a teaching assistant in Seville, Spain:
Where are you from?
I’m from Allen, Texas!
What was it like to work at your school?
I taught at the Colegio Alemán Alberto Durero (The German School - Albrecht Dürer): a private, bilingual German-Spanish school. My favorite thing about the school was the quality of the English department and the students’ motivation to learn. I was able to give a week-long creative writing workshop with the students!
Why did you decide to teach abroad?
I had recently finished my master’s degree and was looking for the next step. I had always considered teaching, and I always wanted to travel, so CIEE and teaching abroad seemed like a great way to kill two birds with one stone. My goals were to practice my Spanish, gain some teaching experience (and see if I liked it), and spend some time living abroad and traveling. I'm happy to report that I accomplished all three and then some.
What was your favorite place in Spain?
My favorite place was Gracie Barra in Seville. It was the gym where I trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and where I made some of my closest friends. Every week I trained and occasionally competed alongside these people. They were a large part of my Seville experience.
What is the funniest thing a student said while you were teaching?
"You remind me of Ted Mosby!" or "John CENA!!!"
What was the biggest challenge of teaching and living abroad?
The biggest challenge was adapting to a less materialistic life. Life in the United States is often a lot more comfortable than the rest of the world---we take for granted that we have things like air conditioning, heat and tumble dryers, and cars. But you quickly learn that you don't need those things. In fact, you can often live a happier, simpler life without being burdened.
What will you miss the most about teaching abroad?
I will miss my students and the teachers at Colegio Alemán who took me under their wings. I will also miss my teammates at Gracie Barra. And of course the old, beautiful city of Seville itself.
How did teaching abroad influence your career and life path?
I see myself continuing to work in education and I would love to keep traveling and working abroad. Perhaps I will go back and try to bridge my experiences with politics and education.