Hi from Mare de Déu de la Mercè in Sant Feliu de Llobregat.
My name is Michelle and I’m a Conversational Assistant working with primary and secondary school students. I arrived in Barcelona the 25th of September on a Saturday where I met my host family. At first I felt a little bit anxious. I couldn’t speak a word of Spanish and I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into but I soon discovered they were very welcoming and that a member of my host family had even spent a year in my hometown learning english in Ireland!
However, the area I was living in was a bit remote, something which was completely new to me, as I came from city. I had to learn to adapt, as my school was located in an hour from where I was living….the mornings a 6.30 am was something I had not seen before!
Every morning I have to travel for an hour, by car and train to my school. At first this was was very difficult, but after two to three weeks I adjusted to the early mornings and to the long days at my school.
My school´s system was completely different to the irish schools too; primary and secondary students were in the same building and all classes lasted for one hour. The hours were completely different too, I had a longer day, starting at nine and finishing at five, with a two hour luch to break up the day.
However, even though the majority teachers did not speak a lot of english, they were all very warming and made an effort to make me feel at ease, with the english they had. The students were all very friendly too, and most of them also made an effort to speak to me too as much as they could with the english they also had!
My job here is to try and talk to the students as much as possible in english, through oral activities such as games with the assistance of the english teachers at the school. I have to say I do prefer the older kids as you can do much more with them and the time in the classes goes much faster! At first I was not sure what exactly I had to do within the classroom but after a week or two I adjusted to my timetable with the help of the teachers and knew exactly what was expected from me by the teachers I worked alongside.
The different food and eating times was something which I found the toughest to adapt to….The big meal at luch time and the late dinners in the evenings……However, as I said before with time I adjusted! Now I am enjoying this experience a lot….Im meeting lots of new people, getting to really know the kids individually and I have also started a spanish course online. I know this year will go too fast!