This post is by Devon Shaw, a Hispanic studies, education and sociology major at the College of William & Mary. During the 2011-2012 academic year he is participating in the Teaching Development program at the CIEE Study Center in Seville.
After two months of living in Seville, this week marks a turning point in my study abroad experience. I’m halfway through the semester and have just finished my midterm exams.
In the past eight weeks I have become well acquainted with this beautiful city and its equally astounding neighbors. My taste buds have reveled in the delights of home Spanish cooking and my body has become accustomed to the relaxing pastime that (most of) the world knows as siesta. But what makes my experience so unique, so entirely different from the others, is that I begin teaching my own English classes next week.
Twice a week for the past five weeks, I have spent two hours at a local colegio (school), observing English classes, collaborating on various activities with the teacher and getting to know fifty 14- and 15-year-olds. I’ve shared with them American football, Tiger Woods and the correct uses of the past simple and past continuous.
Between classes I talk with the other teachers and learn about the school system here in Spain. Some of them like to practice their English with me and I am always practicing my Spanish. My time in the school has enabled me to develop a deeper understanding of how schools in this country function and the roles of teachers and students in Spain’s educational system.
The Teaching Development group, from left: Devon Shaw, Nereida Martinez, the director of the Instituto Libre in Morocco, Luis Recio, Haley Winters, and Samantha Jasinski