On Wednesday, I started my first day at school! I had a wonderful day full of observing and getting to know the staff. A typical school day in Spain is very different than a typical school day in the US. Some of the main differences that I have noted so far:
- School begins at 9am and lasts until 4:30pm (give or take 15 minutes) here in Spain. As a teacher from Tennessee, I am used to starting my school day at 7:30am and ending my school day at 2:30pm. The main reasons why their days last longer are because they get breaks and their lunch lasts more than an hour.
- The school I am at starts their day with a prayer. Catholicism is very prominent over here; religion is often incorporated in schooling.
- I have seen lots of hugs and kisses given from the children to their teachers. The culture is more friendly in general, so it’s definitely understandable to see a lack of personal space between people.
- Loudness is the norm. The children are often very chatty, and there’s a constant buzz of chatter in the classroom. Teachers do not seem the least bit bothered by the noise level here.
- Languages are learned earlier on. At my school, students (ranging from ages 3-16) speak Spanish at home, complete most of their school work in Basque, and study English a few hours a week.
- Security does not seem to be an issue. I am used to a check-in/check-out system, ID badges, etc. None of that exists at my school.
As well as noting differences, I have been brainstorming activities for my first set of classes on Monday. The school uses a curriculum from MacMillan for their English studies. The books revolve around a character named Tiger. Within the first hour of being at the school, I quickly learned the “Hello Tiger” song, hand motions included. As students move on up from Primary 1 to 2 to 3 and so on, Tiger stays with them. It’s quite entertaining, and I love seeing the children’s enthusiasm in having fun with English Language Learning.
Looking at my books reminds me that I need to get back to planning. Lots to do and little time to do it! 🙂 Please feel free to comment, like, and share. Cheers everyone!