Fresh update from the air! Seriously, I’m posting this from my flight from Dubrovnik to Madrid. Hats off to Norwegian Airlines for providing free WiFi on this 3 hours flight. The modern marvels of technology, am I right? I still miss the days of free snacks and drinks on flights, but that’s another topic for another post.
And yes, because I’m posting this from my flight back to Madrid that does mean vacation is over. But not entirely because one of my best friends from Florida is arriving tonight to visit me for a whole 6 weeks! Excited doesn’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling right now. However, 24/7 vacation is winding down after over a month of not having any sort of work or schedule. I don’t start work until next Monday, but I’ve got to start mentally preparing myself for the return to work.
If you’ve read some of my past posts, you’ll know that I’ve worked as an English teaching assistant or auxiliar de conversación for the past three years with the Ministry of Education here in Spain. Auxiliares in Madrid (and most other comunidades) don’t start work at their assigned schools until October 1st with an orientation session about a week before.
So, why am I starting my job so early, in less than a week?
It’s because I’ve got a new job!
That’s right, this year I won’t be working with the government program. Instead, I’ll be employed by another teaching program here in Spain called Red Leaf.
Before you get too excited, I’ll still be teaching this year. See, Red Leaf is a private company that, like the government program, hires native speakers to work as teaching assistants in Spanish schools. One key difference is that Red Leaf teachers work in private schools, which is where I’ll be this school year. Another big change for me personally is that this year I’ll be teaching students in bachillerato which is the equivalent of the last two years of high school or secondary school. Basically 16-18 year olds.
In theory, these kids are better behaved than the younger high school students because kids in bachillerato are there because they want to be. These last two years aren’t mandatory in the Spanish school system unless you want to study in university. Fingers crossed the theory is true about the behavior.
This is a huge (and exciting) change for me after working in primary schools for the past three years. I loved working with the older primary students, 3rd grade and up, while the really little ones were cute but required levels of patience that a very select few have.
This past summer was a bit nervewracking for me in terms of figuring out my life plans for this year, including figuring out the job situation. I wasn’t lucky enough to slip though the cracks for another year with the Ministry nor was I entirely sure if I wanted to continue teaching. I really loved my job the first two years, but the school I worked at my third year made it really difficult to enjoy my job. Also, unfortunately do to the economic situation here in Spain, the wages and working conditions here are so terrible that I do better by teaching English than taking a “normal” office job. Seriously, over double the hours and less pay than I make now. WTF.
Either way, I’m feeling really good about this new opporunity to work in a new school, a different age group and, best of all, a much shorter commute from home! (I think that might secretly be my favorite part about the new job.) Lots of changes and positive thinking that the changes will be good ones.