First off, BEDA is the program I am with. My orientation was Sept 8-9th. BEDA places English language assistants with private Catholic schools through Spain, mostly in Madrid.
My first week in BEDA has had its ups and downs. Our orientation held my little hand through a lot of paperwork to get me my temporary NIE (Spanish Identification Card). They even were kind enough to give us some tips on classroom management and handling our new school situations. We already had two classes about classroom management in two weeks. They mostly include adults having to play childhood games. If you remember making cootie catcher, playing London Bridge and Mr. Wolf, those are the types of things we do. It’s a but embarrassing but also sometimes fun.
I’ve only had two days of work. I worked with the smaller children ages 3-9. It was nice to work with the same age range as last year. I already had an idea of activities to do. I felt much more confident than last year. Last year, my first day of class was just filled with fear and a lot of anxiety.
A few funny things happened like the children asked if a three-year-old Chinese girl was my child. I’m now called the Chino teacher, just like last year. I don’t bother correcting them. One of the 9-year-old children figured out that understood Spanish. Then I had a 3-year-old girl that wouldn’t stop crying. She clung to me for the entire class and proceeded to have a tiny mental breakdown when I left. The teachers are really nice and were more than happy to assist me with anything. We had a coffee break together and they spoke Spanish. I would listen and try to nod and join in as much as I could.
Coming into this year, I was nervous because last year things didn’t work out that well. I wanted to just complete a full year to prove to myself I could do it. I was also motivated to learn Spanish, to travel a bit more of Europe and possibly save up for a backpacking trip through Asia.
The next hurdle is to learn Spanish. Last year, I was so busy and stressed I wasn’t able to learn much. TTMadrid still owes me Spanish classes so I’m trying to schedule that as soon as possible. I’m almost done with my Duolingo. I’m going to have to celebrate when I finally achieve that. I’ve also been watching Internado, a Spanish TV show. Sometimes if I’m not up for listening to that Spanish I’ll just put Spanish subtitles on American TV shows. Then I am even using Tinder to practice my Spanish. But I haven’t had any luck meeting people on that damned app but at least I can use it for something useful.
I’m really excited about a whole new year of travel and learning.