Perks and Disadvantages
Busco professor de Ingles.
“Hola, mi nombre es Alejandro Sanchez, soy de California y estoy vivendo aqui en Madrid trabajando en un instituto como Assistente de Conversacion…”
This is how I respond to most posts about private English classes. The responses I receive are somewhere along the lines of “Gracias, pero buscamos un professor nativo en Ingles.”
Nativo en Ingles?
I am not a native English speaker?
I am Mexican-American, I have tan skin, black hair and dark brown eyes. I was brought up speaking Spanish, but my superior language is English, and I have lived most of my life in California. There are many perks to these characteristics, one of them which I was told as soon as I arrived was that I look Spanish so that pickpockets and scammers wouldn’t target me as much because I do not look like a tourist. More important, I am proud that I was brought up speaking Spanish because I can communicate easier here in Madrid. But when people here read my name they assume Spanish not American; which is true, Alejandro Sanchez is a Spanish name, but I am also American.
In my posts, I respond to the people in Spanish because their posts are written in Spanish. Maybe because of this they assume I am Spanish, so I guess I must respond in English to change that perception. A woman, who posted about babysitting her twenty-month-old child, went as far as telling me that she didn’t want to work together because she wanted her baby to pick up an American accent. She assumed that I didn’t have an American accent just by reading my name.
Well jokes on her, I have had people here in Madrid say that they love my American accent. (hair flip)
It is a bit frustrating that I haven’t had much luck getting private teaching classes, but I can’t change who I am, nor would I. I love my heritage, I love my brown skin and I love that I speak Spanish and English.