Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Beginning of School and Ikea

Yesterday, I went to my visit my school again. School officially starts tomorrow, Wednesday, but Jim (the other Fulbrighter who I will be working with) and I went to meet the director of the bilingual program. We received school calendars, which is helpful however we have not received our work schedule. It turns out they have not even finalized the teachers schedule so they cannot assign Jim and I to classes until this complete because we will be assisting specific teachers. Jim and I are considered English teaching assistants (but it is not abbreviated ETA because that is the name of the Bosque terrorist group in the north of Spain).

During the meeting, I learned more about my school. There are 800 students and about 70 teachers. Each grade is divided into 4 or 5 classes/sections of which only 2 participate in the bilingual program. The bilingual program in Spain only started 10 years ago with a small group of schools and has recently expanded. As a result, only a small percentage of current secondary students received bilingual education in primary school. Therefore, only part of the school is prepared for bilingual secondary education. Jim and I will both spend 8 periods a week with the bilingual English classes. Jim will spend 8 more periods in the bilingual science classes while I will spend 8 more hours with the bilingual social science classes. In the bilingual program, only science, social science, art and English are taught in English while math, Spanish literature, music, and PE are taught in Spanish.

While discussing the teachers I will be working with, my coordinator casually commented that there are normally two bilingual social science teachers, but that as Monday (two days before school begins) they had only hired one teacher. I am trying to go with the flow and think everything will work out but this definitely going to be a last minute hire. In the Spanish school system, it is normal for teachers to be moved from school to school every year until they are placed permanently. However, there are not many teachers who are qualified to teach bilingual social science so it may be a difficult spot to fill!

After meeting with my school, I met up with my roommate Liz to go to IKEA to buy stuff for the apartment. IKEA is located in the suburbs of Madrid but is still accessible by metro. The comforter that my landed provided looks like something an old lady would have (no offense) so I wanted to buy a new one. I figure if I am going to be here 9 months I need to make the place my own, plus Fulbright does give us some money for start up costs. In order to get to Ikea, I took the metro out into the suburbs. Once you enter Ikea, it feels like you are in the States. The layout is pretty much the same. There are two stories with furniture one level and household items on the other. While there, Liz and I bought more than we expected because as we walked through the store we would realize more stuff are apartment lacked such as measuring cups, bath mats, hangers etc. By the time, Liz and I checked out of Ikea we looked like gypsies but still took the metro home. Both of were carrying our purse and a huge blue Ikea bag.

Currently, I am posting this blog post a trendy ice cream shop that has white leather chairs and all the d├ęcor is in brown, pink, and white. Right now, my flat mates and I are stealing internet from our neighbors, but it is unreliable and we can only get skype to work so in order to use the free wifi internet today, I had to suck it up and buy some ice cream.

1 comment:

sandykoo said...

Maybe you can convince Yogurtland or Baskin Robbins to have free wifi.