As a newly retired teacher and six month a year snowbird in San Miquel de Allende I enjoy the best of both worlds on both sides of the border to be sure. The previous posting described my North of the Border situation which includes a quiet space in my bedroom and also the dining room in the evening and late at night to read, reflect and work on my assignents. This is perfect in keeping wth the hierarchal or distributied individual style of learning that I have utilized since my earliest memories at kindergarten when I loudly announced one day to my mother that I was dropping out because we weren’t reading and writing and it wasn’t ‘real school.’ At that time kindergarten wasn’t part of the public school system so I was allowed to drop out with impunity to await the official start of first grade in the middle class suburb that I lived in at the time.
So fast forward over fifty years later and I’m still self directing what I think suits my learning needs best. Although I enjoy f2f classes at bricks and mortar universities, with my mobile lifestyle and now with a new laptop the whole wide world of learning is mine once again. I did post some comments in the discussion forum from time to time but really, since I have left public education behind in the rear view mirror a lot of what was being discussed either wasn’t relevant or did not interest me…any longer. Three, four five years ago…yes, but no longer.
I have moved into adult seminar teaching in small groups of up to 12 either on site inside an established church where I live or off site in my home or a lively wifi cafe..
In my South of the Border situation, I will continue these group seminars as a meet up group named, ‘Continuing the Artist Way in San Miquel’ which is the title of this blog. Come January of 2015, I will establish an actual web presence via http://www.meetup.com and also on the Civil List in San Miquel de Allende where i have rented a townhouse for six months from November to the end of April. At that time, it is my intention to organize artistic creative clusters or learning networks on an informal basis either in the living room of my townhouse or in an off site location like the Santa Ana Cafe at the Biblioteca, the library and hub of both expat and local Mexican life right in Centro, the heart of the city…
Hence these two distributed collective learning spaces will be in two locations. Because it is a loft townhouse I also have one more ideal space both for online learnng BUT also to enter the totally new frontier of paid not volunteer Teaching English As a Second Language ONLINE to students located in any part of the world! I’m still working out the nitty gritty details but working for international companies providing struction in English as a native speaker apparently is in high demand in countries like Saudi Arabia, Korea and China. To work out the ‘bugs’ in Skype, webcams and audio, right after I hit the submit button I plan on contacting a former student in Guadalajara. As part of my practicum for my TESL Teacher training this retired military gentleman was attending English school so he could travel to English speaking countries with his wife. I hope that Mr. DeSilva will consent to being my very first online English conversation student!
Earlier this afternoon, I led a small but diverse group of students from Japan, China, Korea and Thailand practice English in a conversational setting. I believe that I am experienced and skilled enough to establish myself as a paid online English teacher. This would be tremendously helpful in supplementing my partial teachers’ pension. And I am totally confident that I would do a fabulous job! And yes, I will also be available to provide volunteer sustitute teaching for local agencies like the Nanaimo Literacy Centre north of the border and the San Miquel School of English in Mexico.