Monday, October 7, 2013

New year, new school!

Another week down and I'm still loving Madrid :)

Last Tuesday was my first official day of work. I made sure to get there a little bit early because it was my first day, but I ended up beating all the teachers there! And I was only 15 minutes early. That's Spain for ya! But once all five of us auxiliares were there, they gave us a tour around the school. It's a comparable size to my school last year; three classes per grade, K-6 rather than 2 per in Almería. Then we got our schedules, and I began to realize my work schedule is going to be very different this year. Last year I worked 12 hours a week, and the school day ran 9-2pm with a 30 minute recess and I had Fridays off.  This year, I work 16 hours a week, the school day is 9:30-4:30 with a 30 minute recess and 2 hour lunch break from 1-3pm and have Mondays off. The lunch break is not my favorite, way too long in my opinion, but other than that I think this school is better in every way than my school last year! I'm really liking the staff. They're all pretty young and super friendly. Furthermore, not only can the English teachers actually speak very good English, they also make an effort to ONLY speak to their students in English.  Last year, that was not the case, haha. I work with 4 different teachers a week, but specifically one for 9 of my 16 hours. She's a brand-new teacher and young like me. Her English is really good and we get along great. She found out that I have my teaching degree in the US, so she even let me create a lesson and have a few classes to myself last week!

Another big change for me this year has been my students. Last year I taught 1st-3rd graders and this year I am teaching 5th-6th graders. At first, I admit that I was a little disappointed that I didn't have the adorable little kids, but I've really liked having the older kids so far. They're better behaved, they're easy to joke around with and their English is really good! I can hold simple conversations with most of my 5th and 6th graders! They've really impressed me so far, and I'm looking forward to getting to know them more this year.

Besides getting adjusted to my new work schedule, I've had a pretty exciting week! The highlights include purchasing my first plane ticket of the year. Alexa (one of the other auxiliares from my school) and I planned a long weekend trip to Porto, Portugal. We're headed there in just a few weeks, so I'm very excited. Also, on Saturday 4 out of us 5 auxiliares at my school went to Día del Mercardo, where for 2 euros we got to do quite a bit of wine sampling. In addition, there are free samples of cheese, olive oil, marmalade, honey, liquor, and more. I was also shocked to see that they had beer tasting! I didn't even know they did craft beers in Spain, but apparently they do in Madrid, so that's exciting. Later on Saturday night we all went out to a concert and got to listen to some local music as well as covers of American classics. We had a blast. On Sunday Alexa and I explored Casa de Campo, the biggest park in Madrid and we covered a LOT of ground.

I'm realizing more and more how much there is to do in Madrid! It's truly a city full of life and adventure. I can't wait to see what the rest of this year has in store for me.

Below I've added some pictures of my apartment. Its small but I love it. Amazing location, within walking distance to everything! And also in a young, hip neighborhood.  Visitors welcome :)
Itty-bitty bathroom

The kitchen, washer included 

View from my balcony!

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