Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What does the fox say?

Hey! You found yourself here again? I'm glad you're here! If you're new, please forgive my blunder and accept my awkward welcome. This blog post has absolutely nothing to do with the title. It was just playing on Spotify. Sorry if I led you astray. I'd actually like to touch on work hours here in Spain. Your reward for reading my rant is a list of fun facts at the end.

Begin rambling:

I've worked all kinds of different jobs.

I've worked at Subway. I've worked at a graduation supply store. I've done private tutoring. I later worked at Sylvan. I was a teacher intern. I then did some substitute teaching (for about a week...).

Those jobs have ranged anywhere from 10 hours a week to 40+ hours a week. Some were "part time." Others were "full time."

In the USA, I usually consider "part time" to be anywhere from 10-25 hours a week. I know that it can be more or less, but let's say the average is 20 (half-time). A part time job gives you a lot of free time in the States if you don't have any other obligations.

Somehow, I thought this would be the case here in Spain.

Before I start explaining how different it is, let me explain that I love my job. I love teaching. I love teaching a foreign language. It's genuinely a passion.

I work 21 hours a week at school. Sounds like "part time," right? If you were even kind of paying attention, you know I'm about to tell you otherwise.

Twenty-some-odd hours a week is hardly part time as a teacher here. The school day for primary students here is from 9 AM to 12:30 PM and again from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM. The school day is only 5 hours of instruction (there's a 30 minute recess every day). Teachers arrive just shortly before the students (or at the same time). The scheduled work week is 25 hours. Perhaps that's why our maximum amount of hours in the program is 24. At 25, we might be full time? I'm not really sure.

I know there's a lot of planning behind the scenes. However, there's only five hours of instruction every day. We have seven in the USA! 8-3:30 with a 30 minute lunch (that's what my high school was).

Spare time? I have Fridays off. That's rare in my program from what I gather. So, I'm thankful for that.

I loved the midday socializing today. I spoke Spanish for at least an hour straight. That was awesome.

A few fun facts for the evening:
1. I think I agreed to be in a play of sorts for Christmas.
2. I have now successfully used Amazon Spain.
3. I really like shopping here. I keep reminding myself that I have a small room and limited suitcase space. It should be saved for Christmas gifts.
4. There are things related to the USA everywhere. For example, the dive bar/coffee shop next to the vocational school has a miniature Statue of Liberty
5. Watching Harry Potter makes me excited for London!
6. I live in Spain. Can we talk about that. I dreamed about it for so long. It's hard to believe I'm living the dream.
7. Sometimes I wake up from "the dream" craving American food. Mmmmmm... America.
8. A man played "Piano Man" on the Metro today harmonica and all. I sang a quiet harmony to myself.
9. My professional school students complimented my singing today. I sang "Head & Shoulders..." when explaining why primary is so exhausting.
10. I have yet to pick up my NIE, but it's ready.
11. The greatest burrito place in Madrid is Tierra. Seriously. Great food, refillable sodas (rare around here), cheap alcohol, super friendly staff, and SPICY salsa. In Spain, "spicy" normally means a mild pepper was used in some early stage of cooking. Maybe they used black pepper in very small amounts. Realizing this, I asked for the spiciest salsa they had. I know spicy. I adore spicy. Sadly, this spicy salsa defeated me. I was ashamed. Next time I'll have to kick it down a notch.
12. Sodas are smaller in Europe.
13. I have Ramen noodles stuck in NYC right now.
14. I finally have Internet access from my lofted bed. Netflix and I have a strong relationship. I ordered a cable connector and an additional cable. Hooray!
15. "Hasta luego" is more natural to me than "see you later"
16. I have class all day Saturday. Boo.

So, Spain is different. I'm about to start traveling internationally and Christmas shopping. Stay tuned for those adventures!

Until next time,

PS Foxes bark. If you go to Crowley's Ridge Nature Center,  you can push the button next to the stuffed fox. It barks. It's not quite like a domesticated dog, but it's stronger than the bark of a squirrel. I couldn't leave you hanging.

No comments:

Post a Comment