Tuesday, October 1, 2013 was my first day of school. My schedule has me teaching Tuesday through Friday from 10 AM to 2 PM. I have Mondays free. I am working primarily with second grade English, Science, and Art classes (which are all taught in English), but I also have a few third grade classes as well. Each class has between 25 and 30 students, and each teacher teaches various subjects. For example, one teacher of mine teaches English, Science, Art, and Alternative (a class given to students who defer taking the religion class).
I’m still getting used to the classes and my role in them, but as of now I’m reading lines so that the students can get used to my accent. I’m also leading lessons and helping make sure the students understand what they are learning. The students are so sweet and they’re respecting my role in the class which is the best I could hope for.
Mid-way through the school day the students get to have a half-hour break where they go outside to play and eat a snack. At that time the teachers all go up to the cafeteria and have a ‘café’ or snack. We sit and talk about life and work and how everything is going while eating fruit and vegetables and pastries and juice and coffee and sourdough bread and jamón and chorizo and cheese and so much deliciousness.
My commute seems to make a lot of people cringe when I tell them what I do on a daily basis, but really it’s not that bad. I walk out of my apartment, cross the street and wait for the bus. Finally the bus comes and I ride it for about 10 minutes. Then I hop off and walk a block to the Atocha train station. I take the commuter train for 15 minutes until I get to the end of zone A (according to the public transportation zones). Then I change to the metro and ride that to the very end of the line, which usually takes about 15 minutes. Now comes the fun part. Arganda del Rey is one giant hill. The metro is at the bottom of the hill. The school is almost at the very top. This means that all day I get to see gorgeous views of the Spanish countryside; however, this also means that I get to spend 15 minutes of every morning hiking to the top. Adding it all together, and including waiting times for each mode of transportation, from the moment I step outside my apartment until I arrive at the front doors of the school it takes me one hour and forty five minutes.
So far I’m having a blast and loving my job. Everyone is so nice and the kids are adorable. I’m excited to see what will happen in the coming months.