I’ve been so caught up with the move and transition and adjusting to the Spanish way of life that I haven’t realized I have entered an entirely new stage in my teaching career! I have my own classroom, and my own classes!
I picked up a side job in a language academy thanks to the beautiful three day work schedule I was graced with, and I already have three classes; 3 year olds, 7 and 8 year olds, and adults. To be honest, I think that the main reason I didn’t fully realize I have my own classes is because I just about wanted to quit after being trapped in a room with Spanish three year olds for an hour and a half. However, sitting here post-siesta time surfing for teaching ideas on the web, it suddenly hit me that for the first time I am not sharing the classroom with another teacher.
The class sizes are quite small, with a maximum of 13 students, and while I did teach over the summer on my own it was for a maximum of four students with a pretty regimented curriculum. While I do have curricular materials I technically should be following in the academy as well, I refuse to be the type of teacher who only prescribes page after page of workbook activities. And so it is now my sole responsibility to create activities and games to use in the classroom.
It’s really quite a liberating feeling. I have grown so accustomed to having a head teacher to work with or supervisors or mentors to help guide me (or tell me what to do, depending on the teacher), that it took me this week to realize that this is not the case in my new job.
Funnily enough, I was wondering how on earth I would learn and grow as an educator here when teachers arrive and leave promptly at their designated hours, and teach out of workbooks. I was looking forward to learning from another country’s education system and am pretty disappointed with Spain’s. But now here is my opportunity! Granted I still don’t have as much freedom and flexibility as I would like (though let’s be honest, unless you’re running your own school the odds of you having complete reign over your classroom and curriculum are minute), but still! I am the only teacher up in front of a group of students!
Now to just gear myself up mentally and emotionally for what I feel is extreme torture of being in a room with three year olds who speak not just Spanish, but three year old Spanish…
This realization of being my own teacher with my own classes is going to have to be my ray of light. 😉
In all seriousness though, now that I’ve had this realization it will help me to make more of a concentrated effort to hone and develop my skills. The challenge of the three year olds is the challenge that I need to do so. (The trick is keeping that in mind when I’m in the classroom when I’m with them, hehe). Either way, ready to plunge forward and grow as a Soka educator 😀