This week I’ll switch it up and devote my post to some tips I have for future auxiliares.
Tip #1: BE FLEXIBLE
One week a teacher told me she wouldn’t be in for our class the following week. Instead of class, she told me she’d send me instructions for a game I could create for the class in two weeks. Now, I’m pretty sure this is not the norm. I was given a heads-up. I’ve heard from other teachers that they’ll show up to their class only to find a substitute teacher or no teacher at all. Others have said they’ll arrive to class only to be told they’re not needed. While this can be frustrating, ultimately you’re still getting paid for these class periods you “don’t work.” You can use this time to prepare for other classes that week or read that book you’ve been dying to read. Ideally the teacher will tell you ahead of time and give you something to prepare during that period. But maybe not! Who knows! The hustle and bustle of some other work cultures is not prioritized here.
Tip #2: BE FLEXIBLE
In a slightly different way… I graduated from college with a BA in art history. I spend one-third of my school-week in biology classes. ‘Nuff said. Initially I was concerned. Science was always my least favorite class. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t connect with it the way many other students did and do. It’s definitely one of the most exciting classes I’m in here. The teacher is a powerhouse. She has the most command over the classroom of all the teachers with whom I work. The students have a lot of respect for her and it shows; they pay more attention in these classes than in my other ones. I’ve already learned a lot from this teacher’s style of teaching--lead-by-example teaching. She rolls along with the subject matter with an almost frenetic energy.
On top of all that, the biology classes reinforce lessons that are important. The teacher devotes class time to relevant information such as global warming, nutrition, and general hygiene. Just last week I gave a presentation created by a fellow auxiliar on illnesses related to the digestive system and respiratory system. Some slides talked of the dangers of smoking, of not brushing your teeth, of not flossing, of drinking alcohol, and so on and so on. Needless to say, you only have to be a human being to connect with these lessons. I’m currently creating a presentation on genetic mutations. Not my forte, but I try to have fun with the formatting (font, font size, color, images, animation).
Moral of the story: you may be in classes that don’t particularly excite you. This may not matter at all. All classes are an opportunity to learn as long as you keep an open mind.
Tip #3: BE FLEXIBLE
Ha ha. I crack myself up. Something that’s not so funny? Commuting over an hour and a half to work. Personally, I don’t mind my hour-and-fifteen-minutes commute. It gives me time to wake up and prepare mentally for the day. This manifests in my listening to music the entire time. When the program talks of placement in Madrid, that does not mean the city center (though it could!). Madrid is one of seventeen autonomous regions/communities of Spain, so there’s Madrid the City and Madrid the Region. Keep this in mind when putting down your suburb preferences. Research them in order to make an informed choice.
I never liked stretching. Some people call me go-with-the-flow, others call me rigid. Regardless of your own malleability-status as you read this right now, being an auxiliar can do for you whatever it is that you need it to do for you--including forcing you to stretch yourself to be the best auxiliar you can be. “Ask not what your auxiliar-position can do for you………..” -- that’s how the quote goes, right?