The Challenge

Authored by:
Danny S.

Danny S.

Coming in to my program I was told I would be in primary school. When I went to the school two weeks before it started however, I was pleasantly surprised that I would be working in the infantile building. This means I am working with students ages 2-6 years old. With our program and contract, we only work 16 hours a week. All four auxiliars at my school have Fridays off. The following is a picture of what my schedule looks like. The number before the class is the age group, and 11:30-12:30 was misprinted. There is a breakfast break from 11-11:30 and then another break from 12:30-2:30.  

The break from 11-11:30 is with the other teachers and we get free food, so I love it. Its mostly bread, little pastries, and fruit. Us auxiliars all sit together and don't talk much to the other teachers because only one of us in the group speaks good Spanish (its not me). During the two hour break I go to the gym with Camille and then home to shower. Mondays after school I have an hour private lesson with one of the 4 year olds from one of my classes, Tuesdays I have an hour with two boys from the 5 year old class, and Thursdays I do two hours with a family. An hour with a 3rd grader and one hour of just converstaion with the mom. With the younger kids I just play with them, and speak English while we hang out for the hour. Its a pretty easy gig.

There are six different classrooms in the infantile building, and I spend three periods with each a week. Two of the three are English lessons that I work with another English teacher, and the third I am with the regular Spanish teachers helping with whatever they are doing. I work with six teachers that do not speak English, but I really like them all very much. Then I work with five different English teachers, who all work in the primary building but spend a few hours working with the infantile kids on English. Its a strange set up and only happens within the infantile classes. Some of the teachers do most of the work and I just support them while other classes I am doing more of the teaching. There is one English teacher that I really enjoy working with, three that I don't mind working with, and one that is a little difficult for me because she undermines me a lot and I don't love her teaching style. She's very nice but is hard to work with. In the 4 and 5 year old classes they use a program every class and a book, which makes it really easy to do lessons on my own. I just have to follow the routine. The 3 year old classes are a whole different story. Some of the kids in those two classes are still only 2 years old so its not the easiest to get them to sit still and listen. They are really hilarious though.

The classes all have 27-28 kids in them, which is absolutely crazy to me. These teachers have twenty-seven 2-3 year old kids in them. Usually they are working alone. In the States, this ratio is something that is not allowed, and I feel really bad for the kids and teachers. There are also a few kids in the classes that are in need of a little extra help, but the teachers don't have that. I just have to be in each class one hour at a time and then I can escape, so I really enjoy it.  I can laugh at the girl that hides crayons away in her little apron/bib that all the kids wear, and then colors her face when no one is looking. I can ignore the kid that's having a tantrum on the floor. I can have my favotires and can pick them to help me all the time. I get all the benefits without most of the negatives. I'm not even in charge of discipline so if a kid acts up, I can just tell the other teacher. 

Random funny teaching story: One day I got locked in the teachers bathroom and it took about 7 minuutes and six people to get me out. I had to bang on the door until someone heard and the conversation went something like this...
"Quien es?"
"Es Danny. Auxiliar. Ingles"
"Aaahhhhhh Josephine"
"Danny- unlock the door"
"The door is unlocked"
"Up top though, the lock"
"Yeah, it is unlocked, the door handle won't open the door. Its not locked"
"Let me get Josephine"
This when on until Joesphine came and unlocked the door from the outside. There were six people standing outside the doors when it opened. I'm pretty sure they all think I'm an idiot, but there is zero way I could have locked the bottom. There is no lock on the bottom from the inside, so I'm not really sure how it locked. This is now my life!

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