Friday, September 30, 2011

Una Visita a Mi Escuela

Well, my little vacay is coming to an end… I begin working at my school on Monday! This morning, I went to my school for the first time with my two fellow auxiliares. My school is located in Villaviciosa de Odon, a mid-sized town located southwest of Madrid. I must say, I’m getting excited for this upcoming year! Here’s a recap of today’s visit:

The Commute:

It’s looking like my commute to school will take around 45 minutes to and hour each way… I’ll have to time it this week. To get to school, I take metro from my area, La Latina, to the Principe Pio station, which takes 15 minutes, mas o menos. From Principe Pio, I take a bus directly to Villaviciosa de Odon, which is maybe 25 minutes or so. My school is a 5-10 minute walk from the bus stop. It’s a good thing we had a practice round today, because we missed our bus stop on the way there and boarded the wrong bus on the way back… oops! Luckily the bus driver was nice and helped us get to the right stop. ANYWAYS…..


The walk to school... very scenic, I know!

The School:

I am placed at Colegio Laura Garcia Noblejas y Brunet. (Yes, it is a mouthful. I still get tongue-tied trying to say it.) For those of you who don’t know, a colegio is the Spanish equivalent of an elementary school. I will be working with kids in grades 1-4. When we arrived at the school, we were greeted by some of the administration and English teachers. They were super welcoming and we exchanged besos and hellos with everyone. We also conveniently arrived during the morning break, so all the teachers were hanging in the lounge and there was free coffee and tea, breaded and fried salmon, cake, melon, and all sorts of delicious things… win!

Surprise, surprise: our school isn’t exactly prepared for our arrival and hasn’t made our schedules yet. My coordinator is really sweet though, and they seem to be pretty accommodating. She basically said to just show up at 10 on Monday morning and we’ll go from there. My school begins class at 9 a.m., has a break from 11-11:30 or something like that, and then teachers have an hour of prep from 12:30-1:30 and lunch from 1:30 to 2:30. Then the school resumes for class from 2:30 to 4. Since there is a 2 hour lunch break in the middle of the day and we need to fulfill our 16 hours in the classroom each week, I will most likely have to be there from 9 to 4 a few days a week. Kind of lame, but it will be a good opportunity to bond with the teachers and maybe practice some Spanish!

The Scoop on School Lunch:

We were also given the school lunch menu for October. Um, let me just say that Spain has us Americans beat in the school lunch department. The food is actually cooked on site, is unpackaged and is served to the students at their seats. And the menus sound BOMB. For example, the lunch on Wednesday, October 5 is Macarrones con salsa de tomate y chorizo (Macaroni with tomato sauce and chorizo), Filete de merluza a la romana con rodaja de tomate natural (buttered hake fillet with sliced tomato), fruta fresca, leche, agua y pan (fresh fruit, milk, water, and bread). Teachers are charged 4.65 euros to eat the school lunch, but we were told that we may potentially get a 50% discount. The lunches are prepared through a 3rd party company, Secoe, so the school has to work out an agreement with them. Apparently because of “the crisis” (a post on this to come...) many companies are losing money and therefore tightening their budgets. Fingers are crossed we get cheap lunches!

Okay, well there is a sneak peek of what I’ll be in for this year! My first impression of the school is positive, and I’m anticipating that this will be a great year. I think the key to success with the auxiliares program is going to be going with the flow and being open minded. To all my fellow auxiliares, good luck on Monday!


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