Bronzed Spaniards, pale Brits and leading a double life.

By day, I am an unassuming Erasmus student (this is not entirely true, I stick out like a pale, stumbling sore thumb amongst the bronzed Spaniards that stroll around campus so suavely) but by night, OO HECK, brace yourselves… I’m a teacher.

That's me.

That’s me.

Okay so I’ve taken a job as a teacher. If you’re in a non-English speaking country I recommend you try and do this, it’s extremely lucrative and F-U-N.

Adjusting to having two sides to myself was an interesting and gruelling process. Siestas help. Despite it being an adjustment, it’s enjoyable, I mean, I teach English to Spanish people. It keeps me on my toes, Spaniards are great to teach; some are eager to learn and those that aren’t, don’t hide it (which is amusing). Firstly, the age range I teach varies tremendously, from 4 years old to 70 years old. The young ones have a natural aptitude for learning a language and respect is gained by being stern, yet fair, YET creative. I was so happy when I received my first gift from a student, A RUBBER BAND IN THE SHAPE OF A STAR! (My friends think I stole it from a five year old girl, but the reality is, she gave it to me. *smug face”).

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I always had a few phrases that I hated my teachers saying to me and now I’m in the position in front of the whiteboard, I can hear my teachers words coming out of my own mouth. I’m so disappointed in myself. The wee ones always forget their books and I always ask why. Then I put on my “I’m really disappointed with you, for goodness sake, when will you change/grow up” face and shake my head because I am so annoyed at them and they simply must know. As well as gaining control in the classroom I’ve had many a moment where my control has lapsed and I’ve had children make fart noises with their arms and momentarily shout “VIEJA” (Old lady) at me because they think I’m 30 years old. Grand.

Some of the perks of being a teacher and working in Spain is that the food is affordable. Here’s an incredible picture of oysters that I ate. Cómo me cuido…

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Quite a shock really to be living on a student budget and being able to afford posh seafood and nice wine. I swear I’m not turning into some year abroad Erasmus show off (still miss Buckie).

Student

On Erasmus, you get a bit of leeway when it comes to studying. Mention the fact that you’re an Erasmus student to your teacher and you’ll get greater flexibility when it comes to deadlines or the length of work. Most professors understand that you have to adjust to life in Spain and the language barrier.

In hindsight I would have researched my courses more and tried out more but hey that’s just how the cookie crumbles. As I have a couple of tandems and Spanish amigos I have picked their brains on courses and teachers, which I would really recommend you do.

Short but sweet

This blog isn’t a long one, but I hope you realise that going on Erasmus can bring out totally different facets of yourself that friends and family (and employers) will be thoroughly impressed with. I’ve definitely learnt that I really do love Oysters and good wine.Oh and the fact I can control Spanish children… relatively well.

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!

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I hope this post reaches you in the last clutches of 2014 and I shall be posting a lot more in 2015. If you have any particular questions or issues you’d like me to raise in my next blog post, LET ME KNOW.

Email me: 2021122p@student.gla.ac.uk
OR
Follow me on INSTA or twitter: @madelinepratley
OR
Stalk me on facebook: Madeline Pratley

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¡Les deseo Una Feliz Navidad y un Próspero Año 2015!

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