Who would have thought that two years after I finished university I would come to live and teach in Spain in the unknown and unexplored Capital of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela? A city that emits a sense of cosmopolitan life mixed with the casualness of village living. I have never experienced so many nationalities in such a small and unusual part of Spain.
Emphasized by the variety of nationalities at the school I have been teaching at for the last five months. Here I teach English, Music, piano, and singing, I’m the choir master and drama and film coordinator. Each day is different, each day brings its challenges; and as each day passes I learn more about myself and why this internship is ideal.
The interesting thing about my particular situation is the individual attention we are able to give each student; my school has a mere 9 pupils. This means that I know each individual very well; the best way they work, what distracts them and most importantly their level of English and what they struggle with most.
I have had the pleasure to watch pupils who spoke no English be able to explain to me how they enjoyed skiing or explain the idea of revenge and anxiety. Pupils who could not structure an essay write coherently and succinctly after a mere 3 tutorials. Watching their confidence grow is what keeps me coming to school in the mornings.
My particular strengths lie in music and it is here I am able to deliver a course that these pupils have never experienced. Our Christmas concert was a particular success; with songs from the Lion King, Film scores, Ray Charles and of course Christmas songs! In September the students were nervous and shy; by December the outcome was unbelievable and I am very proud of what we achieved.
We are now coming to middle of the last term and I am helping prepare pupils for their exams; exams that will decide whether or not they will be able to go to the universities of their choice – this experience is not for the faint-hearted! I have had the privilege of teaching a particular pupil who finds exams extremely difficult and is currently on the way to passing with a good grade, working alongside over these last few months so they are able to do the best they can. I will be awaiting the result with baited breath!
The summer concert programme is also well underway with a challenging set of a cappella pieces , one in French, and a set of solos for the leavers. We will draw upon the individual talents of my new ‘Beethoven’ and a student whose vocal abilities have soared throughout the year – a credit to their hard work and enthusiasm.
If you want to teach in Spain, you must know that not every day is easy in a teaching experience where each day is distinct; where you are dealing with people, emotions and of course teenage hormones! However, I have learnt that being able to watch and aid in the development of what I hope will become a confident and ambitious group of adults is all I ever wanted from a job.
2014/2015. Posted by Elena B.