I came to Spain in 1995 and after a prestigious job in finance, was shocked to learn that my super important education and accountancy experience was worthless in Spain! After feeling completely humiliated by my lack of relevant experience and overall significance, I was offered a job changing nappies at €3 an hour. And that’s how my story begins….

The “Bottom Up” Method

I came to Spain in ’95 for just a couple of years
But made the decision to stay based on wine and a couple of beers
I started low in a nursery, changing a baby’s nappy
And realized that singing songs seemed to make me happy
And although my job was rather basic and certainly quite lowly,
Little by little, day by day, I began to like teaching slowly.
So after working at the “bottom”, I decided to get qualified
And did lots of exams and plenty of courses to make me bona fide.
Then I did a course at the council to help me progress more
So that if an opportunity arose, it would open up the door.
And before long I was teaching, just as well as anyone
I finally felt I had arrived, to education I had come.
Then after a while I got a break and worked in an excellent place
I learned a lot and joined ACEIA and began to up the pace
Out of the blue I was invited to be a school’s director
So I took the job and then I saw I needed to be correcter
So my next move was to climb to the top of the helter skelter
And I made the choice to study more and began the illusive DELTA
And after 3 years of lots of work, wondering if I’d get it,
My qualifications were delivered, I passed it with a merit!
And I remembered that I had started by changing baby’s diapers
I really was the gross epitome of a bottom wiper
And now I’m working as a trainer, giving formation sessions
And I love applying what I’ve learnt and putting it in my lessons
And as I look back I realize that because I stayed over here,
I’ve progressed and worked in something I love and have made it my career.
So never be dismayed, my beginning couldn’t have been badder
Just keep on working and study hard and climb to the top of the ladder

Kate Newell works at English Language Institute (Seville)