Lessons I've Learned This Year (Spain's Version)

Programs for this blog post

Teach In Spain Program

Authored By:

MariaElena K.

Hello - Hello! 

It has been quite some time since the last blog I uploaded. These last few months in Madrid have been nothing short of a whirlwind. I can’t believe that it is April, I can’t believe I’ve been here for nearly 7 months and I can’t believe that the school year is almost over. 

In between my last post and now I have had the opportunity to travel, meet some more friends and even officially take a salsa and bachata class! Oh, and of course teach some English in Northern Madrid! 

Tuesday through Fridays my days are filled with classes ranging from PE to Biology to English. Sometimes with special events like an Open Mic Night, Olympics Day or Global Classroom. My high school age students keep me on my toes at all times. 

As the school year comes to a close I wanted to share some lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Be fearless - This lesson is loaded and layered. Experiencing highschool from a new perspective has given me a newfound appreciation for all of my past teachers. I see around 70 different students every single day. Each with their own personalities and attitudes approaching English. I learned to be fearless by testing out different lesson plans and games with all classes. Some days it went great, others not so much. This isn;t  about how many lesson plans flopped, it's about the ability to try again. The effort put in to face classes that give you a harder time. Understanding that being perfect isn’t the goal but learning what works and what doesn’t. 

The kids are teaching you just as much as you are teaching them -  My students have taught me so much in the last few months. Aside from correcting my Spanish, cultural differences and slang words, my students have taught me what it means to be a teacher. What it means to see a student. They’ve taught me that timing is everything. For example if we have class during 7th period on a Friday, it’s best to go with a fun game. The lessons the students have taught me range from 

What you’re doing matters - If the high level conversational english doesn’t speak for itself, maybe the students self correcting does. If you don’t believe you’re making a difference, take a look at the Cambriddge scores they get back. If a student, who hated English at the start of the year, tells you they can’t wait for English class doesn’t show you that you’re making a difference for these students I’m not sure what does. 

Being in my first year post-grad it is so easy to get caught up in all the feelings of a "happy, free and confused" 22 year old. It’s easy to get lost in the FOMO of home, but let school ground you. Let it remind you of why you started, and why you’re still here. 

I’m humbled that my students have opened up to me and trusted me this past year. I’m excited to see what the rest of the school year has in store! Happy Spring! Sending love from Madrid!