I am a language and culture assistant at IES Sapere Aude. Sapere Aude is a high school in the western suburbs of Madrid, about 30 minutes from the city center. Four days a week, I catch a morning bus from Moncloa station to the town of Villanueva del Pardillo, Sapere Aude's home. My commute is about an hour in total, which isn't terrible compared to some of my friends' hour and a half commutes. The bus is a great time to read a book, catch up on the daily news, or listen to Spanish podcasts like "Coffee Break Spanish"—my favorite. I also don't mind sipping on a warm cup of coffee and having time to fully wake up before my active day at school.
At Sapere Aude, I assist in both E.S.O and Bachillerato classes, which means I work with students from twelve to eighteen years old. I love this because with each age comes different personalities and features. The younger kids are so silly and animated while the older students are a bit tamer yet love talking about real-life things and sharing their opinions. It is funny to finally be on the teacher side of things, especially when I have to discipline the kids. In most classes you will find me using "Shhh" and "Pay attention please" quite often, yet in some, the students don't have trouble paying attention. Mostly all of students at my school truly want to learn English, yet of course, they are kids and get distracted. I also work with seven different teachers, so my job in each class varies depending on the teacher. In some classes, I am center stage giving presentations about upcoming holidays or American culture, while in others I simply frolic around the classroom answering questions or giving feedback. It is nice having a combination of each.
Overall, Sapere Aude is such a welcoming place. I feel very lucky that I was assigned it and mesh so well with it. Thanks to the insanely sweet teachers and staff, I finally feel comfortable and at home with my school. It feels amazing to see how far I've come as a teacher and staff member of my school. I finally know what to order for breakfast in the cafeteria, fresh orange juice and Spanish "tortilla" of course, and what the classical music playing in the halls means (it signifies passing period)! I love saying hi to my students in the halls and catching up with my fellow teachers during break. Although waking up earlier than I am used to or ending most days pretty tired sometimes get to me, my overall experience with my school and the people I have met are worth it.
This picture was taken during my very first week at Sapere Aude while introducing myself to one of my classes. It has now been almost 6 months since I began teaching at Sapere Aude, and I cannot believe it. I still enjoy my time here and am going to cherish my last few months as a teacher here!