Tuesday's Halloween lesson was less successful in my opinion because I changed things for the advanced level but they weren't participating. It is very hard to teach when no one wants to talk and you are struggling to keep the class interesting. I have a new found respect for my past teachers and professors. The students seemed to enjoy everything but, (Idiom alert!) it was like pulling teeth to get any of them to talk about Halloween. SIDEBAR: Before this experience I never would have considered myself a person who spoke with a lot of idioms or colloquial expressions, turns out I was wrong. I wore the witch hat again but since the lesson wasn't going well it just made me feel more uncomfortable in front of the classes.
Tuesday, I had my second English conversation class during the break and there were MORE students so the good word must be spreading. We'll see how the weeks progress, I am still skeptical.
Wednesday I took the 11 a.m. bus into Zaragoza and my tutor offered to pick me up and have me stay at her house again for the 2 nights of the course. Ana really is too kind to me, but I am so thankful that she is my tutor. (I have heard negative stories from other language assistants about their tutors and it makes me even more thankful.)
The course was very informative and I only wish they had given us this course back in Madrid. It would have taken more time but I wouldn't have had (Idiom alert!) to run around like a chicken with my head cut-off the days I tried doing paperwork. The informative lesson was Wednesday night and on Thursday night they had a teacher from a High school come and talk to us about different methods we can use in the classroom with our students. It was geared more toward primary and secondary schools ages 6-16 but I found I could adapt some activities for adults. But, I found I learned more about the English level in primary and secondary schools. The presenter had great English, but some of the tutors present did not have the English level I would expect them to have. I know that the English is not as high as what is found in Official Language Schools but it still surprised me. Again, more things that make me appreciate where I was placed, though I am sure I could adapt to whichever school I was assigned. At the first meeting they were encouraging us to sign up for another year and I did consider it but I would want a language school and I would want to have the same tutor. Plus, I really do need to find a job that pays enough for me to pay some of my bills, haha.
On Friday, Ana drove back to Tarazona for our meeting of me teaching them different and interesting things about American English. This week I wound up talking about rednecks, (Tia E...you and Uncle Tod should appreciate that!) I told them I will show them a video next time "You might be a redneck if....."! But, I always have fun with the professors, they have me constantly laughing because some of the American English language is quite ridiculous when you say things out loud and I laugh when I try to explain them.
I have (Idiom alert!) been feeling a little under the weather so I don't think I will be doing anything for this holiday weekend. (All Saint's Day is a government holiday here) I have plans to straighten up my papers because next Friday Ana will go with me to apply for my N.I.E. which is basically a national identification card, in Zaragoza. I have been hoping I get over this sickness without having a full-strength cold because I need to be able to speak clearly for my classes and I am in Spain so I don't want to be sick! The professors ask me how I am sleeping and I say I sleep all the time here, I think it is just the atmosphere. Too much fresh air, good food and they have black-out blinds here so I never know what time it is if I wake up and don't look at the clock. I said also, this feels like an 8 month vacation, not a job!