And I mean yes, I do go out sometimes and yes, we have such an amazing opportunity to travel here, but I am still working. I still have responsibilities, bills to pay, and errands to do during the week. The reality is that my daily life in Madrid is relatively normal; I wake up, go to work, cook lunch, do errands, plan lessons, and go to sleep. In many ways it's much like my life last year and of my friends who are working back at home.
7:25 am (I know, I'm weird) I wake up and start to get ready for a day of work. I would say 'Bright and early' but the sun is really not out until I start walking to the train. With my program I only work 16 hours a week and have all Mondays off, it's pretty awesome.
8:10 am I leave the apartment to catch the cercanías/train in Sol. Luckily our apartment is really close so it's a quick walk.
8:19 am I catch the train south to Getafe, it's about 18/20 minutes on the train and then another 10 minutes walking to the school. I don't actually mind the commute, one of my favorite parts about Spain is all the walking and public transportation.
8:50/8:55 am I arrive at the elementary school and make sure I brought everything I needed (so far so good!) and that I have everything prepared for my classes.
9:00 am The school day begins and I go to my first class, either First or Fourth grade English or Science. All my classes are different depending on the day of the week, but they're all always with the First and Fourth graders.
10:00 am Second class of the day. Usually it's First or Fourth grade English or Science but on Thursday I have Physical Education (PE) class with my Fourth graders.
11:00 am Third class of the day, again First or Fourth grade.
11:45 am Break/recess, students go out to play on the playground and the teachers get a delicious breakfast in the lunch room.
12:15 pm Fourth class. On Wednesdays I have a break during this period and I use it as more planning time.
1:15 pm Last class (yayy)
2:00 pm End of the school day!
On the days I don't have private classes I take the train back to Madrid capital to have lunch with the BF, run errands, and prepare for the next day. However, on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have my private lessons so I don't come home until much later.
On Tuesdays I have two private English classes I teach. One at 4:00 pm and another at 6:00 pm
2:00 pm Planning time at the school, I use this hour to finish any preparation for my private lessons or classes.
3:00 pm Lunch in the school lunch room with the other teachers and administrators.
4:00 pm My first class that is just perfectly right near my school. When this first class ends I have a coffee with the family then leave straight to my second class, which is about 40 minutes away.
6:00 pm. Second class of the day with two siblings. It's fun class that's all about different games.
8:00 pm This is around when I arrive home. It takes roughly 40 minutes to get back home when the class ends so I usually get home very late and very exhausted.
|How I feel at the end of every Tuesday..., source|
Thankfully it's a day with a much easier workload, especially now that I might be dropping my second class (really not worth the stress it puts me through, just not a good fit).
2:00 pm Planning time while I eat a lunch I packed from home since there's not enough time to grab a delicious lunch from the school.
3:30 pm This is actually the same 4:00 pm class from Tuesdays, just thirty minutes earlier.
5:30 pm Arrive home from my class and prepare for the next day of work. Usually feeling great on Thursdays because Fridays are so easy in comparison!
As for what I actually do in my in-school classes depends on the class and teacher I'm working with. In my classes I'm used differently by all of the teachers I work with, some I prefer more while others tend to leave me guessing. It's definitely been interesting getting used to all the different styles and trying to figure out what is expected of me in the different classes.
I have one teacher who asks me to teach the class's lesson in advance and I will look through the book and plan how I will present the material to the students. With another auxiliar in the same grade we also plan activities for the students on American culture for special occasions and holidays (for example this super cool "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" game), as well as do special tasks they want us to do like creating the above book cover for the class book on growing up. Sometimes they put a lot on our plate but the teachers are really understanding and grateful for everything we do.
|It is, right? source|
It's my final teacher that I still sometimes don't know what is expected of me. Sometimes she tells me what she would like of me, other times I have to figure out, some days I'm asked to plan something, other days I'm expected to plan something without knowing. I finally brought it up to her and she explained what she wanted and I'm thinking over the Christmas vacation how I can realize those expectations in the classroom.
This whole experience has been full of so much learning for me as a teacher. It's definitely made it easier that I came into the program with prior teaching experience, but the education system and styles in Spain are so different that I've had a lot of catching up to do. It's important to remember that each teacher has a different method to the madness and it really helps to talk to them and get on the same page. Being so shy I have had trouble going up to the "much-more-forward-Spaniards" but it has really helped discussing what we both want to accomplish in the classroom.
|This is what it's all about after all|