The life of an Auxiliar de Conversacion (my job title) in Spain is hard work. We work 12 hours a week, get a three or four day weekend, work with the cutest of little Spanish kids, and oh yea get paid the same as working over three times as much in the U.S. Sigh, I’m tired just thinking about it. Yes I know, you all probably want to never speak to me again, but I just felt the need to gloat a little bit about my amazing experience here!
So far teaching has been absolutely wonderful. I have some amazing fellow teachers and tutors at my schools who are nothing but nice and helpful and will answer any question I have. I also have the cutest, most adorable little kids ever! Some are so adorable that I have often considered “stealing” them for the day just to play with them (and I still have a few in mind haha). For the most part the kids are great in the classroom, although sometimes they have extremely small attention spans and misbehave quite a bit. Luckily discipline is not part of my job description so that is left up to the real teacher. There have been some classes where the entire class has consisted of the teaching spending the whole class trying to quiet the kids down or just yelling at them to be quiet. It’s very different than the U.S because if you had acted how some of the kids act, you would be sent straight to the principle’s office, but oh wait they don’t have a principle here! It’s hard to believe that I’ve only been at the schools for 2 weeks each. Sometimes it seems like I just got there and other days it seems like I’ve been there for months already. Overall it’s going very well and my lessons have gone swimmingly too! I just finished up my Halloween lessons where I had the kids make their own trick or treat bags, color their own haunted house, bob for apples, and play “guess the monster part” game, all of which were big hits with the kids!
I have also found another way to supplement my (limited) grant money while over here. I have picked up two private lessons each week, which will help in the money department. The going rate for a private lesson with a native speaker is 15 euro an hour, so with two lessons a week I’ll be making an additional 30-euro a week (see that quick math there?!) One of the lessons is with a seven-year-old boy named Miguel, who I am going to start with next Monday. When I spoke with his mom, she said she just wanted to give him some extra practice so I can’t imagine that it will be too hard or grammar intensive. The other lesson is with a woman in her mid-50’s who is an English teacher herself, but who just wants to have more practice with speaking. When I asked her if she wanted grammar lessons, she looked at me with a horrified look on her face and told me absolutely not, she just wanted to practice speaking! So our first lesson was this past Tuesday, in which we walked around the city for a bit, stopped in an art exhibit, went to a bar and got a beer and just talked! She is the sweetest woman ever and has such an interesting life! She sings in two traditional Spanish choirs in Logrono and invited me to their Christmas events! Next time we are meeting at her house because she wants me to get to know her family and also so we have a quieter place to talk. So after an hour of just talking and hanging out with this woman, I was handed 15 euro! Score! So needless to say I am very excited about the prospect of making some extra cash. All in all life is pretty good here.