Becoming a Teacher


Dr. David Vidal-Jones “didn’t choose to become a teacher”. Being the adaptable, instructive, and energetic person he is, he feels that he is naturally a teacher “in the sense that [he] likes doing it”. He sees being a teacher as a “commitment [similar to] being a nurse or being in the hospital” making it not for everyone. He has adjusted well to teaching the curriculum in highschool as opposed to his previous job at a college despite the challenges in both. Vidal is strategically planning the best teaching route to get Spanish learning students easily “from point A to point B [making sure] we know that what the teacher in spanish 1 is teaching is connected to and in line with the teaching of the second year [while also] connecting the IB students, so everything is within one big planning system”. Vidal feels that his time learning English was spent similarly to this currently learning Spanish, making it easy for him to relate to the struggles his students may face. He often thought to himself “why do i need to be learning [this]… I will never use English in real life”. However, after the efforts he put toward perfecting his English and the work he put into public relations in his homeland, it helped him on his path toward teaching.

Through doing public relations, Vidal was able to meet many Native English speakers and get better and more fluent quickly, as he found it easier to memorize different terms and phrases when using it regularly. Despite his apprehension towards learning the language in the beginning, he found “when the opportunity came to apply to a college university [he] already had [his] English under [his] sleeve” and was able to quickly get used to using it at school. He later “started teaching  in grad school and liked it”, eventually using the money that he had earned through teaching to pay for said grad school. 

While teaching at college, Vidal found it “requires a lot of preparation and not a lot of classroom management because students know what to do, they know when to arrive, what time to leave, [and] they know the drill.” Though this made it very easy being in charge of the classroom, it took a lot of work to construct the material and plan for each day of teaching. Once he began teaching at highschool, he found it to be almost the exact opposite. It was a “lot of drill, a lot of talking about things like what time to get their homework done and what they have to do in the classroom”. The preparations, on the other hand, “are a little easier in the sense that [they] don’t have to do research or go to publish an article or something like that. “But it has its challenges too”, Vidal expresses. “For example, in college we don’t deal with the parents right, we don’t talk to the parents, we don’t have to talk to the parents. Parents never talk to us. In highschool, parents, some of them at least, are highly involved with their students’ education”, making that the main difference in his opinion. Now that he has been working at CSPA for a couple of months, he has been able to share his ideas and help the Spanish coursework and teaching ways evolve.