Working has been going really well. I think the kids are actually learning English and it’s quite exciting to see them be able to ask you questions in English. At both my schools, the kids are only 6 years old so they’re very young (and often restless). But they can ask, “Can I go to the bathroom?” and they can respond to commands like, “Please sit down in your seat,” or “Line up at the front door.”
On Friday, the teacher that runs the class (remember, I’m a teaching ASSISTANT, which means I don’t have to do any lesson planning or run the class, I just have to speak in English), she decided to split us up. I was in my own classroom with somewhere between 10 and 15 students. I had to go over the weather and the names of shapes. But I realized soon after I had begun that I got stuck with the really bad kids. They wouldn’t sit down and were running around the classroom screaming and they couldn’t really understand me, and since I’m not there all the time, I don’t have the authority that I need. I can scold them and put them in castigo (timeout), but it’s not enough. The teachers here usually conduct the class in English but all the behavioral and punishment aspects of the course are done in Spanish. Although I speak Spanish, it’s not strong enough to make them listen to me. THIS IS WHY I HATE KIDS.
I walked out of the classroom and went into the other where Toni was (Toni is the teacher). I said to her that I can’t get control and so she switched classes with me. The class I was given was quiet, all were sitting down and all paid attention. I couldn’t believe kids could actually do what they are supposed to. I still hate kids. But the rest of the day was better since I got to work with children and neanderthals.
When I signed up for this program, I wanted to teach High School kids. On Thursdays I get to teach 6th graders at my school in Madrid and I love it. The kids are actually intelligent and well-behaved. I can have a conversation with them, they ask me questions, and they actually try to learn the material that is in front of them. And most of them already understand a pretty good deal of English. I wish I could work with them everyday, but the Spanish government just implement this new English-speaking program that starts with first graders. They have to take an exam every two years through out their education and if they don’t pass they basically stay behind. The education in the country now is all bilingual (well basically). And so the children have to learn English. If they fail their exam next year, it looks poorly upon me and upon the teacher of the class. So I’m stuck with the little nightmares.
On Thursday, I went to my photography class and it was boring. We were all supposed to bring in 15-20 pictures to show the class what it is we like to photograph, but some people brought in like 100 freaking pictures, which was really annoying. One guy brought in a published book that he has and it was incredible! It was a photo book about Ecuador. He made me feel really intimidated, but then I saw some of the other students’ photos and I felt much more confident hahaha. But the guys in the class like to talk and talk and bring wayyyy too many pictures, so I didn’t even get to show mine. I’ll show them next week.
And speaking of next week, I’m having the whole class over for “American Dinner.” After class, we all go to a bar for tapas and beer. I was talking with one of the directors of the school and she wanted to know what typical American food was. Honestly, I couldn’t give her a direct answer because most of the food I eat comes from other places, such as Mexican or Italian food. But I said maybe cheeseburgers or something. Anyway, she said I should make an American dinner for everyone. So, the whole class (we are only about 10 people), is coming over on Thursday after class so that I can prepare some American food. Everyone is pitching 5 euros. My roommates are all totally cool with this, so Mom, don’t worry because I know you are gonna say something about having too many people over and disrupting my roomies and neighbors. No prob. We’ve got plenty of room here.
But now I’m scared because I don’t know how to cook anything! And there’s an Italian girl in the class so I can’t get away with making spaghetti. I found all the ingredients to make cheeseburgers. I’ll probably just stick to that. I may even figure out how to make guacamole and put guac and pineapple on the burgers. That’d throw them off!
But I’m excited to have everyone over and make new friends :)
If anyone has any suggestions as to what I should cook instead, please let me know! I don’t really know what typical American food is.
Side note: Last night I had a glass of milk with dinner and everyone made fun of me for it. Apparently drinking milk is an American thing.
This upcoming Tuesday, I finally get my residencia card. I have to go to some office at 4pm and get it. I’m excited for this for many reasons:
1. I’m official here :)
2. Chris already got his
3. I can rent books from the library!
4. I can finally open a bank account
5. I’ll be official here.
Anyway, that’s all for now.
Write more later,
PS Included below are the pictures I’m going to show to the class on Thursday.