Well, it’s been business as usual in España for me.
I am slowly falling into a rhythm and weekly pattern that entails 4 days a week of teaching English and Physical Education in a public Spanish high school, 1 day a week attending a group Spanish class and about 3 hours per week of intense one-on-one Spanish tutoring.
In comparison to Australia our lives in Spain have been incredibly social – if we are not hosting dinner at our house, we are eating out at restaurants or eating at our friend’s apartments. It’s so great to live within walking distance of each other and so much fun to explore the different types of Spanish apartments that everyone lives in. Every apartment is unique with its own funny Spanish quirks that leave us all puzzled…
There still aren’t enough hours in a day to do everything I’d like! There are so many novels to read, holidays to plan and goals to aim for. I am lucky that I have people around me to remind me to stop and smell the flowers.
As the weather is improving, we headed out to Parque La Quinta de los Molinos – only a couple of metro stops away from the city.
It is essentially an entire parkland of blossom trees – pink and white. Just beautiful.
Everyone else in and around Madrid had the same idea and there were people EVERYWHERE, with their babies, puppies and the occasional massive dog and odd photo shoot which involved a model/photographer with tall frizzy hair and black lipstick….
It has been a lovely local weekend full of breakfasts, shopping and strolling in the sunshine – bliss.
Despite the sun encouraging perspiration and pink cheeks all round, the Spanish are still wearing their winter woolies. Clinging onto their winter fashion – tall boots, thick tights, jackets and even scarves, I was often the only one on a crowded street wearing shorts and bearing my legs!
There have only been a few highlights in the last couple of weeks worth mentioning and one of them has been to teach Spanish students how to play netball.
The naughty class that is.
Anyone familiar with classes in public schools will know what I mean regarding the ‘naughty class’. The one with a lot of students who don’t listen, who don’t follow instructions, who are rude to the teachers, who are rude to each other and generally don’t want to be at school. They’re essentially doing their time until they’re ready to make their own way in the big bad world.
Most of them aren’t ‘bad’ kids. On the contrary, some will do quite well in life I imagine.
But that doesn’t mean they’ll pay attention in class.
So, we had a go at teaching this class netball.
Through videos, broken English and Spanish on both sides, practical examples and just getting up and having a go – we had most of the class having a good crack at it!
The students get frustrated with ‘so many rules’ and question everything.
Teacher, why can’t we all try and shoot for a goal? Teacher, why can’t I throw the ball to the other side of the court? Teacher, why can’t I run into the circle too?
And so it went on.
The naughty kids – who do not often get much positive feedback were delighted by my English “well done!” – even though they needed to ask their Spanish teacher to translate what I had said. (Which gives you an idea of their understanding of English!)And so, we often had nine players on each team, the students struggled with the concept of ‘non-contact’ and pivoting rather than running with the ball – I was still impressed they all made a solid effort! The teacher needs to introduce a non-common sport into the curriculum – so netball it is.Well, Spanish netball anyway…