Are you interested in being a language and culture assistant in Spain? Have you read the job description and thought, “...what does this even mean??” Unfortunately, no one can really answer that for you! If you talk to five english language assistants, you will hear five very different experiences. With all of that being said, here is my experience as an English Language and Culture Assistant in Spain.
I was placed in a bilingual, primary, public school in Alcalá de Henares (in the community of Madrid but about 20 miles from the city center). Science, social studies, English, and art are all taught in English at my school.
I work Monday-Thursday for four hours each day. Over the four days, I am with over 150 students (I’m very slowly learning all of their names!). I work with three different teachers for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes. This age of children is my favorite because they are able to work independently, follow directions, they have a lot of personality, and are still excited to learn at school.
Here is my schedule for the week:
A Typical Tuesday
My first class of the day is with 5th grade English. You will find me working one-on-one with the student that has the lowest english level in the class. We recently worked on a powerpoint together.
My second class is with 4th grade science. You will find me walking around the classroom and checking in with students as they do independent work. I will be checking their spelling or answering any questions about the assignment.
My third class of the day is with 3rd grade social studies. In this class, I will be in the back of the room practicing key-terms with each student one-on-one. I keep track of how each student does and my notes will impact their grade. It is an opportunity for the students to have one-on-one attention and for the teacher to gain better insight on how each student is doing.
I return to 4th grade science for my fourth class of the day. You will find me working alone in a computer lab on a worksheet for the teacher. Or, maybe I will be hanging up a poster or laminating papers or doing whatever the teacher does not have time for.
There is a break from 12:00-12:30pm. The school provides snacks and drinks for the teachers, as well as for the auxiliars. There are 7 other auxiliars at my school-- during this time we catch up about the craziest things a student said or what our next travel plans are. Thursday is the best day, not only because it is our Friday, but the school snack is a delicious Spanish tortilla-- yum!
The last class of the day is with 4th grade social studies. You will find me working with a small group of students outside of the classroom and reviewing exam material. There will be a lot of repetition to perfect their pronunciation and grammar.
My work day ends at 1:15pm. I head home, eat lunch, and enjoy the rest of my day!