Saturday, October 13, 2012

Weekly Update 3: First Day of School Edition

After a week of planning, the people at my school finally got my teaching schedule finalized on Tuesday, which was my first day of actual work at the school (the previous week involved me sitting around or going to the provincial capital for other business). I’m assisting teachers in twelve periods of classes, ranging from 5-year-olds to 4th-graders and concentrating mostly on science (there is one English class, however!). Ideally, all the teaching would be done in English, but because the students’ level of English is pretty low (the teachers do know English fairly well, though), much of the classes are simply vocab lessons. Also, if I hadn’t studied Spanish in college, I don’t think I’d be able to get through this year without going crazy—I feel like much of my English teaching will have to be done in Spanish.

There are quite a few Moroccan students at school, making up maybe a tenth to a quarter of the classes. They all speak Spanish just as well as the other kids, which is great! A few of them have asked me if I speak marroquí—“Moroccan”—but not árabe—“Arabic”—which I thought was an interesting distinction. Maybe someday guys, but now you’re lucky I speak Spanish!

What I’ve been doing since last Friday:

* went to a live music performance with fellow expats

* bought groceries in a foreign country

* line-dried clothes from my fifth-floor apartment (it was terrifying initially)

* realized the hard way that stores are closed on Sundays

* cooked meals for myself and saved big €€€

* began teaching some CRAZY but super-cute Spanish kiddos

* went to the pharmacy and had to ask the pharmacists for medicine

* started reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

* caught my first cold in Spain

* learned the Spanish words for the parts of the body as my students learned the English words

Talk to y’all next week!
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