Today, I started back at school, something I never thought I would be doing at the ripe old age of 35…
The day started poorly, when I realised I had left my passport at home, and had to return to my apartment. But it wasn’t all bad! When I went to change train lines, there was a busker playing “Beds are burning”! It was positively bizarre to hear a Spanish guy perfectly imitating Peter Garrett’s distinctive warble (albeit without dance moves, unfortunately).
My school is a public infants/primary school in a suburb called Valdebernardo, about 40 minutes from my place. It’s a bilingual school, so 40% of the lessons are in English, with the remainder in Spanish. Here’s the website.
This year, there are 5 English language assistants at the school. Three of them were there last year as well, which I guess is a positive thing. If the school was REALLY bad, they wouldn’t want to go back, would they? I am by far the oldest, by about 10 years, and I’ve got to admit, our priorities seem to be VERY different. The other assistants’ conversation seemed to focus almost entirely on money (in particular, the things they do in order to save 1€, such as hitching to Portugal instead of taking the bus); gossiping about who the worst teachers are (the ones whose classes I am in, needless to say); and complaining non-stop about their schedules (which, to be honest, weren’t that bad- we are all only working 3.5 days a week, with Monday or Friday free).
I’m not going to deny it, I found these conversations depressing. Sure, it’s important to save money, I can accept that. And yes, I am probably in a very different financial position to some of the 22 year old conversation assistants. But, pathetic as it may sound, I actually WANT to teach at the school, rather than using it purely as a means to a Spanish visa, and to be made to feel that there was something “wrong” with me because of this was a bit disheartening 😦
Hopefully, things will improve when the teaching starts 🙂