Becoming an Alumni
I am extremely happy to be back in Madrid and to be able to work another year as an English language teaching assistant. In June, I returned to the United States for a few months to reunite with my family and friends, and to pick up some work as a nurse. Throughout the summer, I yearned every day to return to Spain. It is something odd to have your heart in multiple places. There are some things about the States that I find endearing and missed; having a car, fast food, and Baseball. But over the past year, while in Spain, I had built a community and life. A life that I was eager to return to. So as the first month of teaching begins, some may wonder why I decided to teach another year.
Why teach again?
For me it was pretty simple, why not? This program with the Spanish government, for the most part, extends for a maximum of three years. One may do it for two years in the same city, but the third year has to be in a different city. Bearing that in mind, I saw that there was an expiration date to this experience and there is still so much that I want to see and do in Spain and Europe. For the most part, I will never have the chance to have this kind of experience again. To work sixteen hours a week, with three day weekends; all the while living in one of the most iconic European cities. However, there are nuisances that come with teaching in a foreign country. But with any job or opportunity in life, perspective is everything. I chose to spend a second year teaching in Spain to get the most out of this unmatched experience as I could.
I was renewed at the same school in Madrid and I have the opportunity of working with a majority of new teachers. This can prove to be exciting and challenging. The exciting part is the chance to build new relationships as some of the teachers are new to teaching, while others just haven’t taught in such a big school. The challenge of working with new teachers is that they struggle with knowing how to best utilize me. So far, I've advised them to not feel pressure, and to use me in whatever way feels comfortable. At the same time, I also emphasized that I am here to assist, not teach for you. I also notified every teacher that if they do not inform me ahead of time what to prepare, then I cannot do my job properly. By laying boundaries and setting expectations in the beginning of the year, I hope to eliminate some of the miscommunication challenges from last year. I also am extremely grateful that some of the topics that I have been asked to teach, I already have material for.
Preparation is key!
What do you miss the most while being abroad? Most people say peanut butter, flu medicine, or pancakes. The thing I miss the most while being overseas are my dogs! This blog post is how I try to see the positives while missing my furry friends back in the states, and making some new ones here in Spain!