I’ve been teaching English for a long time- not always in an organized fashion or in a classroom…but long enough to know the ups and downs of giving classes.
What has always astounded me is how much people want to learn. I’ve given classes to English Language Learners from all different backgrounds. Some have been refugees seeking to start a new life, immigrants who want to excel in their high school courses, graduate and go to university, older folks who want to travel and now Spanish children in primary schools.
Each student has brought something different to the table. We laugh, joke, learn and sometimes get really frustrated but always end up taking something out of it.
The best part of working as an auxiliar this year has been teaching English in a place where it is a foreign tongue. I’ve spent more times than I can count correcting the pronunciation of espain and esports and have yelled ‘NOT IS, IT IS’ mockingly at children in class enough for them to never forget (which they still do).
Most of the students are so excited to learn. They ask questions about the United States and Canada, they proudly talk about traditions in their own country and like to compare all the differences they find. When I walk into school I am greeted with their Hello, Berenger, which always seems to have the same rhythm and intonation to it no matter who says it. When I leave, they break the rapid-fire Spanish conversation they’re having with their parents to say goodbye.
These kids are motivated and genuinely enjoy having someone new in their class (well most of them anyways) and have made my experience here in Spain better than I could have imagined.