Exactly a week ago, I began my teaching journey in my school located in Valdezarza. On Tuesday, October 1st, I arrived promptly at 9 in the morning to begin my duties as an American Auxiliar de Conversación. A few days prior to the first day of school, I visited my bilingual coordinator, met others in the english department, and received my schedule, which would later emphasize that I would be working primarily with the older students aged 9-11. For those who aren’t familiar yet with the public school system en La Comunidad de Madrid, my particular school is an Infantil y Primaria. Meaning that it's a K-6 school which roughly translates into the United States education system as students ranging between 5-12 years old before they move on to secondary education and high school.
On my first day, I presented a self introduction to multiple classes that I made with google slides prior to my arrival in Madrid. I told the students the basics about myself such as; who I am, where I come from, who's in my family, what I like to do, and where I went to school. While I had a little bit of nerves on my first day, it quickly faded when I was welcomed by the school faculty and when the students all surrounded me with waving hands, big smiles, and lots of greetings in English. Upon leaving the school on my first day, I think I was most excited about meeting the students I would be working with on a closer level and then watching them grow as individuals who were all very eager to learn. I remember when I first started learning a foreign language in my school back in NYC. I was in first or second grade and we would learn basic Spanish phrases. While Spanish was never my favorite or easiest subject, I learned to love studying foreign languages, and over the years it turns out that I wasn’t bad at them either once I started to study harder and gain an interest.
To briefly summarize my first week, I quickly began to understand my schedule and move from class to class without guidance. While my coordinator was frequently busy jumping from class to class, day two and three I was basically on my own. Thankfully, my school isn’t that big, so by the third day, I was navigating the ins and outs like a pro. What I’ve really enjoyed so far is the role I play. While I'm not the main teacher, I’ve heard from other friends doing the same program that schools can be hit or miss. I really love my school, and have been taking on larger responsibilities. I am helping go over homework, exams, and textbook exercises as well as working individually with some of the older kids to prepare them for the speaking portion of the KET and PET Cambridge English Exams. While I do have a lot of tasks, I like being occupied and feeling useful. While it’s been a couple of long days, the weeks are going by fast, and I can’t wait to see what the next few months have in store. Finally, did I mention I have a finalized routine? That’s right I have finalized my weekly schedule. Monday’s I work, Tuesday’s I work then have football practice (soccer), Wednesday’s I tutor a secondary school student after work, Thursday’s I tutor two students in my school after work, Friday’s I have off for three day weekends, but is it really a three day weekend when you play football in two leagues and play matches on both Saturday and Sunday? Yup, that’s right football is life for me at the moment, and I couldn’t be more content with how things are just falling into place.