Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mis Alumnos!

I haven't really talked much about my school or what I'm doing there yet so here it goes! 

My school is called Ojos del Guadiana and it's located in Daimiel, Spain, which is a smaller town about a half an hour from where I live now in Ciudad Real. This means I carpool to school every day (well, Monday-Thursday when I work) with other teachers who live in Ciudad Real. I've been getting picked up and dropped off by different teachers in different locations everyday so I've gotten to know my neighborhood and some of the other teachers a little bit better. 

I only have 12 hours scheduled to work during the week and that includes 3 hours of 1 on 1 Spanish lessons for me. That means during my break times I'm in the teacher's lounge preparing a presentation, working on Spanish, or talking to the other teachers. Many of them want to practice English with me which I think is great and I'm super happy to do. My school is a bilingual school so not only are English classes being taught, but regular subjects like Math and Technology (Woodworking?) are being taught in English. It's really impressive, but also has some difficult aspects when the teachers aren't native English speakers. I'm looking forward to sitting in on these classes and seeing how they really work. 

The Spanish education system is a bit different from the US's. In my public school we have ages from around 11-18 years old. So it's basically middle school through high school, 7th-12th grade I think. And here the 11th-12th grade is called "bachillerato," and it's optional; you go through bachillerato if you plan on going on to college but if you plan on going into another line of work or technical college you skip it. Anyways, I've been in class with just about all of the levels to introduce myself, and I made a powerpoint to explain how high school works in the United States. They all want to know if it's like the movies, a la High School Musical! 

The younger kids have in general been a little more talkative; they have a bit more confidence with their English skills and are less embarrassed to speak for the most part. The youngest ones you couldn't get to be quiet which was so fun. They had all these questions written out like, "Do you prefer spending time with friends or sleeping?" "Do you prefer The United States or Spain?" It was super cute. They don't have clubs or sports teams at their school and so they were interested in what I participated in. 

Today I met a new class and they even decorated for me!! So nice. As you can see, America is all about football, basketball, baseball, cowboys, hamburgers, and hotdogs! After my powerpoint I've been showing them the Carroll High School Lip Dub video from my alma mater so they can see what high school looks like in the US, and they seem to enjoy it! 

I've already gone on a field trip with one of the classes to the local museum! I think they're in 8th or 9th grade?? They did mini presentations on some of the exhibits in the museum in English! I learned about the famous sculptor/painter, D'Opazo and the architect who designed their school and several other important buildings, Fisac. 

And here they are! 

I'm still figuring out my role in the classes, but so far it's been great. It's interesting to share things about America that I never used to think twice about, for instance that we have cafeterias in schools that serve lunch everyday. At this school they have a "canteen" with drinks and snacks if you want, but almost everyone waits to eat until after school at around 3. I'm sure I'll have lots more updates about my time in school.

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