I went back to work on January 11th, and after only 3 weeks back in the UK I have to admit I was *not* ready to work again- whose stupid idea was it to start the school day at 8.35?! January passed me by quite slowly, because there isn't much going on, and once you've covered the whole "Soooo....how was your Christmas? What did the 3 Kings bring you?" lesson, you really have to think of actual things to do! (Nb. For Spanish kids, it's the 3 Kings who bring their gifts rather than Santa Claus, so they get a 'Santa present' at Christmas, but have the majority of presents on the 6th January!)
The teacher I worked with retired before Christmas, but luckily her replacement was lovely; I think she was as glad of the company and help as I was, since it was her first week there, and she also offered to give me lifts to and from school throughout the month as well so I had a chance to converse more in Spanish with her in the car every morning, which of course is always good!
The last week of January was my last week in 'La Iglesia' (The building where kids aged 11-14 are taught) so I gave a somewhat rushed lesson on Burns Night in a bid to leave them with something more interesting that prepositions and the present continuous. Mind you, saying that, they did find it pretty funny when I spent part of the lesson stood on a chair or sat under the table to get them to practice "She is standing on the chair" "She is sitting under the table" etc.
The Burns Night lesson worked better with some than others; I got them to find words such as 'sheep' and 'stomach', and then watched in amusement as they realised what 'Haggis' meant, and also got them to watch a couple of Scottish dances. With the nice ones, this was relatively simple and they told me about similar Asturian traditions such as the bagpipes and dancing, I won't go into how bad my bad classes were!!!
|La Iglesia (church) opposite my school at sunrise|
|I was initially confused by the fake apple tree, yes.|
|Also love that when you order a drink, you automatically get given a small 'pincho' to eat as well!|
|Pretty rainbow bridge in Avilés|
|Iglesia de Santo Tomas de Canterbury (Yep, Thomas Beckett!)|
The first time you meet a new class is usually fun though, as they have to ask you questions about yourself or your country/culture, although I have to admit it would be a lot easier if I had a favourite football team or played sports! I tend to get asked "Do you have pets?" which is then followed by smiles and 'awwwww' when I show them photos of Marmalade, Princess and Tetley; "Do you like Spanish food?" (haha, they think I can cook)
However, with age comes opinion, and there's always that one student that asks my opinion on something genuinely important, like "Do you think the UK will join the EU?" (What? You think I know what's going on!?) or "I think UK schools are discriminatory for having 'sets' instead of having everyone together" (Oh...well, sorry...I erm...disagree?) which means I have to think pretty hard before I speak in case they take it the wrong way! Some of the younger classes I have are studying technology at the moment though, so I've been asked to maybe teach them some 'text speak', which should be pretty fun!
It was Carnaval this weekend too, but the Oviedo party isn't until next Saturday, so hopefully I'll have more to tell you about that next time!
Wow, this seems to have been pretty long, that's what happens when you let work build up and love procrastinating!!
Until next time- hasta luego xxx