Every time we see the opportunity to share experiences with other English teachers, we feel compelled to write about our projects, our most memorable moments as teachers, our background and how much we have grown into the profession.

Today I am not going to talk about that. I am going to talk about one situation that lacks the right adjective to describe.

Twenty years on the job, 4 different cities, 2 countries. I started my life in a small, old-fashioned, extremely hot town in the countryside of the state of Sao Paulo. After some years out of here, I came back and started redefining my career as an English Teacher again. This time I decided to work as a private teacher exclusively. I did not open my own classroom or my own school. My students asked me if I could go to their houses and offices, and I saw an opportunity there. Keeping that in mind, I had to get used to move my entire life inside my car, eat inside my car and move around town at the speed of light without receiving a ticket (so far I have nailed it).

One beautiful Monday evening, I had a final class at a woman’s house where she lived with her husband and kids. Normal. I had gone there for 4 months already. No big deal, right? Wrong…that day I could not possibly see what was expecting me at the house. I arrived, rang the doorbell, the gate opens and I move towards the front door. As soon as I started getting closer to the door, I can hear loud voices, people discussing, and the dog barking. I thought to myself: no listening or speaking today!! Maybe guided meditation in English is more suitable. As soon as I open the door, a huge serving dish flies by my face close enough to drag my old beautiful earring with it and smash into the garage. It took me quite some time to actually figure it out what had just happened. I can say those were the longest 5 seconds of my life. Both of them, husband and wife, staring at me. I am unable to describe what my face may have looked like at that moment because 10 seconds later, the discussing went on. But now I was the reason they were arguing. I thought to myself, maybe if I walk backwards slowly they are not going to see me….too late though; her hand had already grabbed me by the arm and dragged me inside to explain the reason why they were arguing. 30 minutes later I am sitting on the living room couch trying to decide which one of them has the reason now that I was invited to participate in the discussion. God was merciful enough to send an angel to my rescue 1 hour later.

As soon as I got home, after 2 hours pretending to be Oprah while they described how terrible the behavior of the other had been, and without my earring (for the record – one of my favorites), I checked my phone and there was a message from that lovely, adorable, peaceful and feisty student asking me when we were going to have that class done. After all, no English was practiced that evening. But I sure learned 35 new names to call a boyfriend. The second most important lesson here is. Wait at the gate. Always wait at the gate. I thank God every day that the serving dish did not land on my head or his. I was definitely not dressed for a Law and Order episode.

English teacher for 20 years and counting. Milena lived in the USA for 2 years and worked in regular schools, language schools, bilingual schools and as a private teacher Spent some time as a translator as well, but just long enough to become even more passionate for the language and its peculiarities.

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