A day in the life of Speakeasy teacher Javier
It’s not often we get to know a teacher outside of the classroom environment. We’re taking the time to learn a little bit about one of our teachers Javier Pozo Rodríguez and what got him into teaching.
Javier was born and grew up in Badalona, just next to Barcelona. Because of his family’s origins, he also spent a large part of his younger years in Granada in a small coastal town called La Caleta de Salobreña. Javier says he feels just as connected to the Catalan culture as the Andalusian one.
“If one day Catalonia gains independence, I would want to have double nationality.”
Becoming a Spanish teacher
Javier was always interested in linguists and studying languages. He also loves teaching, correcting and dispelling any doubts students have. The idea of being able to participate and help the learning process in general is what he loves about being a teacher. Lastly, Javier also really enjoys getting to know people from many different places and learning about their diverse cultures, customs and artistic forms. Teaching at Speakeasy has helped him create a good environment for learning Spanish, but also for learning about the students and where they come from.
In the Speakeasy classroom with Javier
Activities are one way to create a pleasant and fun learning experience for students. For Javier, he believes that the best thing is to have a variety of them so students don’t get bored. His favourites are conversation exercises especially the ones that are filled with humour and play. These are the most fun and make people laugh, creating that perfect environment for learning and putting the students at ease.
He remembers one class very fondly where he brought the game Taboo to play with a more advanced group – everyone laughed and learned a lot! Javier even received a gift from one of his students – two tickets to a concert in the famous Palau de la Música Catalana.
How COVID-19 affected teaching
When the pandemic first started in March of 2020, Speakeasy moved to quickly transfer classes online. In the end, Javier says this change actually helped him become a better teacher overall. One of the biggest elements was the digitalization of his teaching materials. He realized the importance of having teaching materials – whether found online or made by him – in digital form. He dedicated quite a bit of time to this during the confinement. More time spent at home also meant he also able to finally finish writing his master’s thesis.
A day in the life
More of a night owl, Javier wakes up in the mornings with just enough time to quickly get ready, have some breakfast and head to school. His commute is about 20 minutes which he usually spends reading the news, playing games on his phone or watching YouTube videos.
In the afternoons he likes to relax. He’ll usually meet up with a friend or spend some time on his computer reading, watching videos, chatting etc. One of Javier’s big hobbies is cinema. He loves movies most but spends time watching series, documentaries and shorts too. His favourite genres are fantasy, animation and dramedies. Most of his weeknights are low-key as he saves his big plans for the weekend.
What are Javier’s dearest spots in the city? His first is the area around Plaça de la Universitat where he studied. He feels a connection with the district because of all the time spent there (parties included) and it being a pretty formative part of his life. He also loves the Parc del Laberint d’Horta. He says it has a romantic and fantastical feel to it and he always recommends it to his students.