October brings with it two glorious things – the prospect of cooler days and my new found status as a local chica!
I have been living and working in Marbella, Spain now since July, suffering through up to 38 degrees of heat, very early mornings and the endless questions, constant energy and snotty noses of primary age children! I may even go as far as to say that I am sick of the sound of my own name – ‘Señorita Francescaaaa’. However, one thing is certain, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Spain has welcomed me again and it’s almost like I never left. The waiters are still in my favourite restaurants, and my local chiringuito have welcomed me back as their princesa, and I’m making new friends everywhere I go!
Working in my old school means working with my old teachers (very weird) and being on the other side of the staff room door is yet to lose its wonder. Teaching is a lot of hard work, even in an assisting role and can be quite draining by the time 5 o’clock rolls around and I buzz myself out of the gates. I will be the first to admit that despite enjoying the job and having rather a lot of past experience, teaching is not something I am passionate about and I am not sure that I would personally consider it as a career. The best teachers are those who have a real passion for what they do every day, and Lord knows that what the world needs is teachers who can really make a difference in the future of education. It is a profession which I will always have the utmost respect for.
Despite it being tiring, it is a really rewarding job to be doing! I am working with every level of the primary school from the adorable little early years children (I end up with one hanging off each arm whenever I’m on duty at break), to the mostly all taller than me year five kids. I do a few different jobs within the years; lower down the school I take little groups and do fun work with them, or float around the classroom answering any questions and higher up the school, I take children out of the lesson and read with them, or spend time in class helping to answer questions and mark work. My favourite lessons have to be with year two, where I often take new students who are English and have limited Spanish, and do fun games to help them learn vocabulary. I can honestly say that there is nothing better than seeing them improve each lesson, asking them if they’re enjoying learning Spanish (because I want to make the process as enjoyable as I can for them!) and hearing the response (and I quote) ‘YES! I wish I had Spanish every day so I could have you Miss Francesca!’ I can honestly say that I had a lump in my throat.
Outside of school, I am living in a one bedroom apartment which really suits me! I also finally met and chatted with my neighbour Angustin, a gentleman in his fifties who also lives alone, when he forgot his keys one day and rang my apartment from the gates downstairs to ask to be let in, then proceeded to knock on my door, come in and climb over the low wall between the two of our balconies to get back to his. I told him that at least now I know what to do if I ever forget mine!
And so the Year Abroad Saga continues! I am looking forward to this month and it’s many national holidays (and therefore many Mondays off!) and my half term trip to Sevilla, a city very close to my heart, where I will stay with a fellow year abroader and friend!
Hasta la proxima!