Hello, everyone! I am grateful to share my experience as an English Language and Cultural Assistant here in Madrid. Since I have been here since September, I can’t wait to share the experiences I have had thus far.
Where are you from? How is living in Madrid?
I am from Lewes, Delaware! It is a very small town, especially when compared with Madrid. You can imagine the difference between a place with a 3,000 population and one with 3 million. So, it has definitely taken some getting used to in many ways!
What teaching experience do you have?
I graduated from University of Delaware with a degree in Elementary Teacher Education with a concentration in Middle School English. So, I am certified to teach grades K-8. I also have one year of teaching 8th grade English Language Arts.
Did you get TEFL certified? Why or why not?
No, I did not get TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certified before coming to Madrid. At the time, I felt comfortable with my degree and teaching experience for a foreign question. I do not think the two are exactly the same, however i do see a benefit in getting TEFL certified.
How important do you think it is to have a teaching background for this program?
I do not think it is necessary to have teaching experience for the Teach in Madrid program. Teaching experience could make you more comfortable in a classroom setting. However, every classroom and school is different. I have met many assistants with a wide range of degrees! Each assistant brings a different set of knowledge that will benefit the classroom in some way.
What is your placement like? Have you enjoyed it?
I work at a public secondary school in Soto del Real, which is about an hour from the center of Madrid. I work with students from age 12 to age 18.
At first, I was intimidated by the idea of working with older students. Although I taught 8’th grade, my students were 13 or 14 years old. However, I have enjoyed my school! It has been a new experience learning how to teach students of all ages while learning how the Spanish school system functions. Each teacher is different in their own way and can take some adjusting.
What has been your favorite part of your experience so far?
My favorite part has been my growth as a person. This experience will push you outside of your comfort zone in so many different ways, which is good! The cultural differences are challenging on their own. However, I do not believe there can be much growth inside your comfort zone! This experience will make you a much better person than you ever thought you could be.
I am so grateful to introduce myself here and share my experience in Madrid! I hope you will continue to follow me on my journey.