Saturday, January 17, 2009

Professional Development

If you are dedicated to your art, you will learn to push yourself.

On the advice of a friend, I joined a Spanish Language Meet-up ( and went to one of their events for the first time last night. Now first, I will say that I had an excellent time at my first meet-up and could see how they could become addicting. However, if you try this and have a terrible experience, I strongly suggest you put yourself out there again with a different group. It could make all of the difference.

Second, I think that the success of your meet-up is largely based on attitude. I came into the meet-up with no expectations at all. My goal was to meet new people while practicing the language I love. I found a group where, you may go and speak as little or as much Spanish as you'd like. That's where dedication comes in. If I wasn't going to be committed, what was the point? Throughout the night I met some pretty interesting people (and definitely not people that I would choose to associate with if I was picking out of a line-up) and was complimented several times for my Spanish skills. Whether or not my Spanish was legitimately amazing, I was so proud of myself for sticking with it and getting the most out of the experience.

By the end of the night, and probably due to my teaching nature, I was actually translating for others! In fact, our native Spanish speaking waiter and I became quick friends and I learned much of his life story as well. I was excited to learn that he was so impressed to see a group of people who were working hard to better themselves in some apparent way.

Truthfully, I have a lot of respect for that as well. So, as a call to action, I suggest that the teachers out there who have gotten "comfortable" where they're at, break out of the mold. You might find that you enjoy it...and you will definitely learn from it.

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