Q&A with Eileen Caetta

Written by Ajay Nair

Question: What do you like to do in your leisure time?

Answer: Usually I’m at home reading, doing crafts, watching old TV programs on YouTube, gardening, cooking, or listening to music. If I had the money, I’d spend a lot of my time traveling.


Q: Who would you like to be for a day and why?

A: I guess it’s a toss-up between one of those travel channel hosts who travel to different places, sees the sights and tries new foods, or an archaeologist working on restoring an important ancient site.


Q: What skill would you like to learn?

A: I’d love to learn to speak more languages, and I’ve made a little progress in a couple, but it’s going rather slowly.


Q: What is your favorite type of music?

A: It depends on my mood… classic rock from the 70’s, smooth jazz, international, new age, and the old crooners such as [Frank] Sinatra for the most part.


Q: Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?

A: This might sound unusual, but it was watching [the musical] “The King and I”. I thought it would be really exciting to have a career that could take me to exotic places and have adventures while helping people. I’ve always been very interested in learning about other people, places, and cultures.


Q: What do you enjoy most about being a teacher?

A: I like trying to make language learning fun and relevant so that if any of my students find themselves in a situation in which they would need to use Spanish, then hopefully they will have the confidence to try it. They might see that they know more than they think.


Q: Why did you decide to pursue teaching Spanish?

A: Actually, I began teaching English as a foreign or second language, which is what I really wanted to do. Once I had my sons, I realized that I needed to stay here, so I switched to teaching ESL and then Spanish, since it was just what I had been doing, but in reverse.
Q: Would you prefer to remain teaching in the United States or would you want to move to another country and teach there?

A: Actually, I began my teaching career in a high school in Tarija, Bolivia called Colegio La Salle run by a monk who was a former teacher of mine when I was an exchange student there. At this point in my life I think I prefer to stay here closer to my two sons.
Q: Do you plan on pursuing a new career in the future?

A: I guess if something happens before retirement, I’ll have to, but I don’t know what it would be.


Q: Did you have a different career aspiration during your childhood?

A: Well, you know how kids are… they have dreams and they have reality.  My dream job was [to be an] archaeologist [or] anthropologist, and what I had really expected to do was be a housewife since that’s what most women did then, especially in my family.