|Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, during a night rain|
A quick refresher: the auxiliares de conversación program is sponsored by the Spanish government—the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports—but because the autonomous communities are ultimately responsible for education, language assistants report to the regional governments.
In exchange for working 12 hours a week in Spanish public schools, assistants receive 700 euros a month and health insurance, and get time off during school holidays. (FYI: in the Community of Madrid, they work 16 hours a week and get paid 1000 euros a month.) These auxiliares work in preschool, primary, secondary, or adult-level classrooms and assist teachers in English-language education, but experiences vary widely.
First, I’ll talk about my time in Galicia and my coastal elementary school, and then I’ll tell you my thoughts about the program in general.