Tuesday, November 15, 2011

El colegio

Hello, I know my blog posts have been sparse lately, and I apologize. Life is busy, but going well, overall. I am still missing home like crazy. And the weather is turning cold! And rainy. The time has come to purchase a winter coat. And buy an umbrella (I lost the one I brought from home, at an inopportune time).

It is tough being away from home at this time of year. My sweet nephew celebrated his first birthday yesterday. His beautiful mother, my wonderful older sister, has a birthday next week (but for my sake, I won't post her age!). And of course, there is Thanksgiving soon-it hurts to miss that day.

On the bright side (I keep trying to focus on the bright side), I will be in the states on December 22! So soon! I need to keep that in mind. I am looking forward to the time with my family so very much.

Anyway, I have been wanting to write this post for awhile. I am going to explain a little bit about the educational system in Spain, as there are a few differences.

Infantíl (Preschool): three levels for ages three, four, and five years.

Primaria (Elementary, primary school): there are six levels, starting with the 1st at age six, until age 11 in level six.

Secundaria (Middle school): there are two cycles of compulsory secondary education, the 1st (ages 12-14) and the 2nd (ages 14-16). This is the end of the obligatory education. Students may now leave school to seek employment, continue to vocational training, or complete secondary education to prepare for university.

Bachillerato (non-obligatory high school): at this level, students complete a core curriculum and choose certain concentrations based upon personal interests. At this point, students complete an exam in order to enter the university.

My job:
I teach at a public preschool and primary school, CEIP (Colegio de educación infantil y primaria) San Juan Evangelista. This is one of two primary schools in Sonseca. There is one large secondary school in Sonseca as well. My campus is actually divided into two buildings, one with preschool and levels one and two. The other building houses levels three, four, five, and six. There are three-four classes for each group, each with at least 20-25 students.

I work with students from age three to age nine. Per my program guidelines, I do not have my own classroom. Instead, I move from class to class and assist the teachers with their lessons. My purpose is to provide a native accent for the students to hear.

Science and Physical Education are partially taught in English, and these are the classes I work with the most (except for the preschoolers), Science and PE. Essentially, I explain the lessons to the students. I speak slowly and use lots of gestures. Their English level is impressive, but not near perfect. There are certain classes that have better English comprehension skills than others. The students who understand less often get frustrated with me, and often give me sass. The teachers of the upper levels are very helpful, and I rarely have to do much disciplining.

So, there is a little bit about my days! Below are a few pictures (I took them on my iPhone, while walking and trying to not look creepy. I apologize for the quality).

Un abrazo.

P.s. My short getaway to Madrid was great! It was a beautiful, sunny day-maybe the last of the warmth we will have this year...I enjoyed just walking around the city (and some Thai food!). A blog post is coming, and hopefully before I'm home for Christmas, hah!

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