Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. – Dr. Seuss
As each week passes, our "foreigner shells" crack open piece by piece. Each piece that breaks off, allows us to let go of old preconceived thoughts about the unknown, or doubts of Spain. The more we embrace the Spanish culture by exploring the unknown it becomes our new known.
There are culture and societal norms that take place by tradition, which means they exist and they are the standard for Spain. For example, part of the Spanish culture and tradition is not to live in the past or the future but to live for the now. This aspect of their culture is a trait that I am looking forward to practicing. Personally, I believe as a North American I tend to worry too much about how past performances can impact future relationships with regards to employers. For example, I know for many of us, “what if” statements can cause unwarranted stress and serious spiraling into unnecessary places. Does this sound familiar, “If I do X now will it bring me the results I need for Y later?” Really? What if X explodes and Y is nothing more than an anomaly? What then? This is an exaggerated example of spiraling. We tend to over burden ourselves with focusing on what could be or could have been. Living for now is a novel concept that I believe will make all of us healthier happier people while living here.
In Spain, teachers generally are openly affectionate with their students. They hug and kiss their students. Whereas in the United States, it is prohibited to engage in similar conduct with students. For North American teachers, this will be an adjustment.
In general, Spanish people are a more hands on culture. For example, they greet with a kiss on both cheeks. Whereas in the United States a greeting is a handshake and maybe a hug. It will be interesting to hear the perspectives of CIEE teachers that we will be following in Madrid to see and hear about their cultural observations and experiences at their schools. For example, if we live in the mindset of thinking for now then there is alot that can be accomplished over one school year with – our students and our CIEE teachers -- today.
Seven new CIEE teachers (two of which were a couple traveling together) and one veteran teacher were chosen to speak about their teaching and/or other experiences in Madrid this school year. Tune in for our upcoming Teacher Connection edition to read about our veteran teacher, Lynnette’s experiences. She will be touching on Spanish culture in and outside the classroom. She will also share her love for Spain and why she can’t bear to leave.
Until next time!
Leesa with two EE's
Photography Credits: Nicole Geist is an incredible artist who has joined the team. These photos are her work. She will be assisting with photography from time to time.
Editor in Chief: Whitney Black