Auxiliar de Conversación Shannon Navroth

Meet Shannon Navroth

ESL teacher in Edinburgh

Shannon in Edinburgh, her favorite travel destination!

Shannon Navroth is an Auxiliar de Conversación who has lived and worked in Granada, Spain

Hi Shannon! Can you explain how you began teaching English and why you chose to teach English in Spain?

Truth be told, I am really not qualified to teach English…at all. Just because I can speak the language does not mean I should be teaching it.  I rather selfishly saw the opportunity to teach English in Spain as an opportunity to improve my Spanish. I graduated with a degree in Spanish Language and Literature, and was embarrassed that I could barely speak the language. I decided that the Language & Culture Assistant program was a great opportunity to improve my Spanish skills. That said, I take my “job” seriously and do my best to help my students learn!

That is a great attitude. Where in Spain were you placed and how did you find out about this teaching job?

I teach in a pueblo called Alhama de Granada, about 50 KM outside of Granada city center.  I worked in a teeny little colegio (elementary school). I found the job to be…interesting is the only word that I can think of. I neither liked it nor disliked it. I was the first language assistant at my school and my teachers didn’t quite know what to do with me, and I only had a vague idea of what I was supposed to be doing. I spent most of the year kind of awkwardly acting as a robot/human tape recorder at the will of my teachers. “Shannon, read this!” or “Shannon, pronounce this!”. There were some classes that utilized my presence, but there was a lot of wasted time. On the other hand,this job enabled me to live and work legally in Spain, so for that I am appreciative. I also adored my students-–they were so sweet, even if they did make me want to tear my hair out at times!

How many hours a week did you work and what is your monthly salary?

I worked 12 hours/week for 700 euro a month. I also taught 6 hours/week of private classes, so I pulled in close to 1100 euro/month. Definitely enough to live on comfortably here in Granada. Although, I will say that I am very careful with my money–it all depends on your lifestyle!

Was being able to travel a main factor in deciding to teach English in Spain?

It was a factor, but not the deciding one. Mainly, I came here because I wanted to improve my Spanish (whether or not I achieved my goal is another story). BUT,  I am a huge history nerd, absolutely adore Europe, and was not able to go everywhere I wanted to during my short 4 month study abroad stint….so yes, I did want to travel more, for sure! And I still want to travel more now :)

I think everyone wants to travel more! What cities and countries have you seen while teaching in Spain?

I went to Munich, Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, Edinburgh, and Dublin! I also made some day trips around Costa del Sol–Malaga, Gibraltar, and Nerja. I was supposed to go to Lisbon as well, but caught food poisoning that weekend. You can’t win them all, I guess!

Good motto! What cities or countries are next on your list for travel while teaching?

Unfortunately, I am out of time! If I had more time here, I would have loved to have gone to Portugal. I think it is a crime that I never made it there, being so close to Spain and all! I also am very sad that I never made it to Amsterdam or Prague. At the beginning, I felt like I had so much time–but it passed by SO quickly!

Is teaching in order to travel worth it? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes, I would say it is worth it. I mean, I only worked 12 hours a week, and it wasn’t like it was a super demanding, time consuming job! But I would also say that it is important to remember that you are here to perform a job—your students need you! So go to school during the week, do your job, and use the many puentes (four day weekends), vacations, and three day weekends to travel.

Shannon Navroth is a 23 years old gal from  Milford, Connecticut and a 2011 graduate of Quinnipiac University where she studied Spanish Language and Literature. Now she is going for her Masters in Secondary Education and plans on pursuing a career in International Education. In her free time she enjoys going to the beach, reading, cooking, and  blogging!

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