A DAY IN THE LIFE - I am an Aux living in the city center and commuting to work an hour out of the city.
There are a few things that are pretty standard among most Aux's in Spain but besides that, everyone experiences are different and dependent on the school. However, I can say, everyone, I've met loves this job!
If you're considering or working a position as an Aux, you know that we only work 16-20 contracted hours a week at our assigned school. Therefore, most assistants have either Fridays or Mondays off, and I have only met one person who met the exception, having Thursdays off. I have Mondays off and I was not able to choose this day although some people are given preference. I typically start at 9:30 am and leave at 2:30 pm. However, a day in life varies for me because I start late two days a week at 10:45 and leave early once a week at 1:45 pm.
Each school assigns specific tasks to each Aux but generally, you aren't responsible for planning lessons, although some teachers will allow you to help plan a few lessons here and there to supplement the core curriculum. Additionally, you won't usually be left alone with students aside from small group tutoring and you aren't responsible for discipline. These factors make the job incredibly fun! Basically, my job is to walk around and talk to people and improve students' confidence in speaking English. However, I'll still explain all the details below :)
7:20 am - Wake up
To save money, I always make coffee and prepare breakfast at home such as oatmeal and pack it in a reusable container to eat sometime later before school. My school is very casual and teachers wear jeans, leggings, and t-shirts often. Many of the outfits I brought to teach in I do not wear. My go-to outfit is jeans and a nice top.
8 am - leave my house
Typically, I start school at 9:30 am so I leave my house at 8 am. I take the metro for four stops and transfer to a bus at Moncloa. I live in the city center of Madrid near Sol but work in a city called Pozuelo de Alarcon. Although the commute is only 50 minutes, I leave half an hour buffer because the bus I take is scheduled every 20 minutes. TIP: Even if Google says the commute is 50 minutes it STILL could take 1 hour and 10 depending on the departure time of the bus which for me is every 20 minutes.
9:10 am - Usual time of arrival
Eat breakfast on the bench outside my school or in the teacher's break room!
9:30 am - Class starts
I split my time between three classes and the other Aux at my school takes the other three grades. My school is so tiny in comparison to the school I went to in the United States. There are only 22-24 students per grade ranging from preschool-6th grade. Each grade has a homeroom class where they stay all day and the teachers move around to different rooms to teach subjects!
Class One - 6th grade: I take individual reading groups of students out of class and practice grammar. I work in a bilingual school and even so, while some students are fluent, others speak beginner-level English. This is one of my favorite classes because I get to know students individually and they are generally excited to get out of class for a few minutes to come and talk with me.
Class Two - 1st grade: First graders will run up to you, hug you, and yell your name when they see you in the hallway which is so adorable! They don't speak very much English and lessons are taught in Spanish because the lessons are based on beginner English such as colors, body parts, days of the week, weather, emotions, and numbers. The class uses tons of music and crafts!!
Class Three - 5th grade: Similar to 6th grade! Super sweet kids!
11:45 - 12:15 BREAK - There is a teacher room with free snacks like sandwiches, churros, fruits, tortilla, pan con tomate, cookies, coffee! The foods rotate every day and its a great way to try Spanish foods. Most teachers speak Spanish in the breakroom so this is a great place to either practice Spanish or meet a teacher who wants to practice English with you.
12:15-2:30 Repeat the same classes and similar activities as the morning! The day goes by SO FAST!
2:30-3:30 - Commute home! I've been listening to audiobooks to pass the time but generally I don't mind the commute!
3:30 - dinner is free time for me! I usually try to go to the gym or walk in the park at some point. Basic Fit is the cheapest gym in Madrid and memberships are like 15 Euros per month! I am still in the process of putting together a tutoring schedule after school but I will blog about that experience once I figure it out :)
TIP: There aren't water fillup stations in schools or water fountains. If you have an aversion to drinking tap water from the bathroom sink, (which is completely safe to drink) bring enough water for the day.!