Now that we are coming to the end of October, most of us auxiliares are finishing up our fourth week of school. It is hard to believe that a month has already passed in the classroom! Every day brings new surprises––this Thursday, for example, my students went on strike.
Though the strike was a surprise for me, no one else seemed to think it was anything out of the ordinary. The students were courteous enough to let their teachers know well in advance, and word on the street was that there was a signed agreement in circulation. One of my coworkers let me know about a week ahead of time that the coming Thursday would be a more relaxed day because, well, the students weren’t planning on showing up.
Sure enough, I arrived at school on Thursday to find the classrooms completely deserted. The silence was particularly eerie in contrast with the usual clamor of the students during lessons and between classes. I ended up staying at school for a few hours preparing classwork for the coming week and chatting with my coworkers; then, I braved the silent halls once more to catch a bus home.
It turns out that Spanish people, workers and students alike, have the constitutional right to strike. In the case of this week’s strike, at least according to my coworkers, the students just wanted a day off school. Of course, in other circumstances, a strike could be a powerful political tool. I am curious to see how the students will continue to leverage this ability, and of course, I will appreciate the quieter days here and there.