This year is already different in many aspects from last year. For starters, I am teaching at a high school and not at an elementary school. I have never taught high schoolers before so was a bit nervous going to my first day of class last Monday, but I love it! They can understand me when I talk to them, they have a great sense of humor, they listen, and they don't pick their nose and then wipe boogers all over you! What a joyous day when I can come home from school and not be covered in slime and snot. Not that I don't love the nenes, but this is a wonderful change! I am teaching at the oldest high school in Logrono and it is only a 5 minute walk from my piso.... definitely a different commute than last year! Not only are the students amazing but so are the teachers. They are so warm and welcoming and have made me feel a part of the school in just one week. I have already been invited to numerous lunches and dinners and am treated as a colleague, not just the 'lectora de ingles'. Sadly I don't have the same schedule as last year with no class Mondays or Fridays, but I do have Fridays off and only have 2 classes on Monday. I am done every day by 1:45, which leaves me plenty of time to do private lessons! Which leads me to reason number 2 why this year is different....
Last year I had some wonderful private lessons and it was a great way to supplement my income from the program, but it was more pocket money than anything else. This year I have a whopping 12 lessons a week so far! Can you say cash money?! They certainly keep me busy in the afternoons, but not too busy so I can't enjoy a little siesta or some gym time or a beer with friends. It will definitely be nice this year to be making more than pocket change with my lessons (I'm making the equivalent of our monthly 'income'... cha ching!)
And last but not least I am not starting off in a new place this year like I was last year. When I got back to Logrono, I was coming 'home' and it felt like I hadn't left for more than 2 weeks. Now some people may consider this bad, but for me it's a great feeling! I know where I'm going (well most of the time anyways), have a great group of friends (both Spanish and American and all different parts of the world), I know what and where the good pincho bars are as well as the other bars, and overall I am just very comfortable being back here. I certainly miss Chicago and home and family and friends, but (Mom this should make you feel better) it's a good feeling to know my city and love it so much that I wanted to come back for another year!
Here is the link for my school's webpage in case anyone wants to see what's going on!