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As Time Goes By...

Well, here we are with less than 4 weeks left of actual classes and it leaves me feeling reflective.  I feel as though it was only a few weeks ago that we were arriving in Madrid in the sweltering heat of mid-September and now I’m looking at all that I’ve managed to accumulate (and the two fairly small bags I have to fit everything in) and trying to determine when I REALLY need to start packing.

A lot has happened in the past 8 months.  I have become a more flexible person - I have learned to adapt to changes in the blink of an eye as well thought-out lesson plans flopped with 35 minutes left in a 45-minute class (yup, that was rough).  I have grown more confident in my ability to discern how to handle a chaotic classroom, as I continue to gain patience and creativity daily. I have become more engaged, more excited, more invested in the students.  The little accomplishments of a student who has been struggling in class have become the motivation to keep trying on days when I’m tired.

When I decided to move to Madrid and begin working as an auxiliar, I had no idea what I would be getting into.  I had heard many different people share various experiences - some positive and others not so much - and I wasn’t sure where I would find myself.  Would I become one of those auxiliars who sat in the back of a classroom, unutilized by the teacher? Or would I be overwhelmed with the tasks that were assigned to me by a teacher that was so eager to share the workload?  Would I know what to do?

The most important thing that I learned was how critical communication between the auxiliars and the classroom teachers is.  One of the auxiliars at my school just finished writing her thesis on this exact subject and we have spent a fair bit of time discussing how much this one aspect - communication - can drastically alter one’s experience.  By taking the time to get to know the teachers with whom I’m working and discussing expectations, goals and the like, I have established a strong working relationship and have gained a great deal of hands-on knowledge.  To take the time and talk with someone can make a greater difference than you might ever expect.  So, whatever your situation, wherever you are, make sure to be open to communicate... you could learn a lot.

...

I came to Spain hoping to gain some unknown insight as to my future.  Now, as I prepare to pack my stuff up for the summer, I still remain uncertain as to where my future may lead.  But, I can say that, overall, I have a more peaceful acceptance of my situation than I did a year ago.  (Maybe the whole Spanish culture is starting to rub off on me?!).  And, who knows what the next months or years may bring?  Feel free to stay tuned and find out... 

-Stephanie
(Mt. 28:20b)

 

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