Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another First

Hello all!

Let's start with a little about the school. It has kids from 3 to 18. It is divided into several levels including infant, primary, secondary, and baccalaureate prep. In Spain, kids only have to go to school till 16. At that point, they can either start baccalaureate prep classes or get a job. Baccalaureate prep classes are supposed to get students ready for uni (college) which the majority of these students will do. Secondary is split into 4 levels, and starts at around 12 or 13 years old. Tuition here is 600-700 euros....a month, which is about 800-950 US dollars. To me, this seems like a lot. Apparently, the students that go here are wealthy and have no problem with that. Most get mini coopers or Ferraris when they start driving.

Today was the first day in the classroom. I got to meet all the kids. I was actually surprised to learn that I will be assisting two teachers! The first one is Gordi, who does all the computer/technology stuff. The second is Jesus (prounced Hay-Seuss (like Dr. Suess)). With Gordi, I am helping with 3 upper level robotics classes. I am really excited about this class. They are using Lego Mindstorms kits including the software to design and build stuff. Kids were designing elevators, motorcycles, bridges, trains, etc. They will start building next week. Gordi let me take a kit with me so I can start practicing and help them next week. I have already built a robot! Picture to come.Then, he also has 3 low level secondary geometry classes. His utilization of the internet resources is amazing. I am really excited for what I can pick up and use when I get back. And finally he has 2 other upper secondary classes that didn't meet today.

So there are 7 hours (or periods) throughout the day. During the majority of Gordi's free(planning) periods, I go and assist Jesus. Here's the kicker, he teachers history and geography to 12 year olds. I was nervous about the history part, and the geography part, and well, the 12 year old part too! But they are really cool kids. They asked me a lot of questions about myself and about the US. They are doing oral presentations next week over a country of their choosing. I am excited to listen to them. I am hoping that I can video a few of them. One group is doing their presentation over the US.

Interesting fact...they don't address their teachers by Ms. Jones or Mr. Smith. They call them by their first names. I was called Tammi or Ms. Tammi.


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