Saturday, September 28, 2013
One Month in España.
Wednesday, the 25th, marked one month that we have been in Spain. Time has flown by since we landed in the Madrid airport on a hot Sunday morning. I feel like we are just now finally establishing a routine and getting adjusted. Our tiny piso is starting to feel more like "home" even though we still have a few personal touches we'd like to make. I'm thankful that it is only a 15 minute walk from the school I'm teaching at, because some days I have long breaks in the middle of the day, and I like being able to walk home and relax for a bit. Everyday, except for Friday afternoons when I have my masters class, I teach my last class at the school until 4:45 pm.
Teaching as a Native English assistant has been quite the experience. The school I was placed at is a bit disorganized and it was pretty hectic in the beginning. We didn't receive a schedule or know what classes we were going to be in until about two weeks after we were supposed to begin. And it's still not finalized yet. (I'll go into more detail about my classes in a later post). Our 26 hours that we are actually supposed to teach are scattered all over the place, causing some of us to still have to be at the school for close to 40 hours a week, the coordinators asked each of us our age preferences and then totally ignored them, some classes overlapped and sometimes the teachers were scheduled to be in the same class. Ha, but hey, I'm just trying to keep a positive attitude. :) School systems in Spain are so much different than the States. But it's been a learning experience. And luckily, we were kind of warned about these things, so none of the aforementioned "problems" were really shocking or anything. It's very common in the majority of schools here. But thankfully, the teachers we work with have been (mostly) very kind. There are four other girls that are assistants in the school with me as well, so I'm thankful I haven't been alone during this first-time experience. I'm ready to actually start feeling like I know what I'm doing. ;)
As far as my master studies are going, I've now been to my first 3 classes in Fundamentals of Bilingual Education. The professor is great, and the subject is very interesting. I'm learning a lot. It's only about a month long so there is only one more class left. Then we get a week off the next Friday before our second class begins. The classes are in Alcalá, where I studied last time I was in Spain for a month, and I just love it there. It's beautiful. The photo above is a picture of the University where my classes are held.
Living in Spain in general has been great. Even though the weeks can be busy and exhausting because of school and work, the lifestyle of this country is so relaxed and laid back in comparison to the constant "go, go, go" fast-paced lifestyle in the States. The food is....well, interesting. Some things have been delicious, other things, not so much. We miss a lot of American food. Although, our waist lines may be benefitting a tad bit, with much less fried food and much more physical activity since we have to walk a lot most days. We are excited to plan some weekend trips in the near future in Spain and surrounding countries of Europe. I can't wait for those getaways!
I'm hoping to try to get all of our summer activities posted and updated (we all know how that will probably go....) over the next couple of weeks. I always think life is going to slow down a little bit, and then....yeah, not really. But I'll get this here blog of mine where I want it eventually, ok?! My husband and I actually spent quite some time with the new design, you may have noticed. We are still tweaking it and have some more boring and annoying code stuff to figure out to get it where I want it, but it's slowly coming along.
Thanks for following along with our updates! And since this post is quite boring, if you want to see more pictures of our past month in Madrid go check out my husband's blog post here!