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Escola Anna Mogas – Granollers

Escola Anna Mogas has joined the PAC this year. Their Conversation Assitant, Amber, works with groups of students from P4 to 4th of ESO and is working hard to help everyone improve their English! Here are her thoughts about the whole experience

Hi! I’m Amber and I am a conversational assistant at Anna Mogas school in Granollers, Spain. I have always had questions in my head about being a teacher. Usually they were negative thoughts- ‘Can I really do this?’, ‘What if I fail?’, but from the very moment that I arrived at Anna Mogas school, all these thoughts disappeared. The school is a beautiful private building owned by nuns and from the outside is a scenic view. Only from the aspect of the school you get a good feeling.  I was and still am overcome by how welcoming and helpful the teachers at Anna Mogas have been.  Everyone was enthusiastic about having an English speaker and it didn’t matter if they couldn’t speak the language very well, they always tried to communicate. Being in the staff room is always a fun moment, as when you open the door you are welcomed with laughter and the lovely smell of coffee.

I teach students from ages of four years up to sixteen. It is an understatement to say that I am in love with all of them.  In Eso I take around eight students to an empty classroom and practice speaking activities with them. Usually, the lesson is around thirty minutes or more for each group as I found that they benefit more with longer time with me than if I did ten minutes for each group. I get them to sit around in a circle and we discuss modern topics or practice answers and asking questions with games that I invent.  I rarely use internet resources, as I find it works best when I use my own imagination and of course now that I am familiar with the students I know what kinds of activities work and don’t work with the age groups. I usually think about what I loved to do in school and try and incorporate this in my lessons, to make it as enjoyable as possible. Every lesson is an enjoyable one, because I never leave the class without laughing. The students respect me and they are able to understand that I am a teacher and they have to follow rules but I am also a confident and they can share and express things with me that maybe they can’t with the other teachers. Being young is also an advantage, as I understand them and often they are interested in asking questions about me and asking for advice which is a pleasure. The conversation is always flowing, as I try to prepare lessons which will engage them and make them want to speak as much English as possible. They are spontaneous and I find myself always thinking about how I can improve the lessons with them. I have seen a great deal of improvement with Eso and look forward to watching them grow and progress for the following months to come.

Primary level differs slightly from Eso, as the subject topics aren’t so varied but nonetheless there is always a lot to talk about! With primary I tend to take around eight people every twenty minutes and depending on the day we either practice speaking and an exercise from the book that the teacher is following to combine efforts or I invent a topic. This is usually done more often with the older levels of primary 5 and 6, where we practice with vocabulary games, asking and answering questions about each other. With primary you get back in heaps what you give. They are always ready to learn and always with a smile. I have great communication with the teachers of the students and everyday discuss how the lessons went and which students are improving. I know that I can ask for help whenever I need it. They confide in me and allow me to be free with the students.

P4 and p5 were my biggest worry before I arrived to the school because I wasn’t sure how much they would understand with me. However, I now know that small children, whatever language they speak, need to think that they are playing rather than learning. I take groups of eight to a lovely big sports gym with a overhead projector to practice speaking and vocabulary with videos, songs, games and movement activities like Simon says. They love to move around and it’s surprising to see how much they pick up with songs and repetition games. They are lovely bunch,  always ready with a big hug for me every day to give me energy!

To summarize, I am having a great experience at Anna Mogas and feel myself growing as a teacher. I am constantly thinking about new lessons, adapting activities and worrying about them as individuals, as I have become very much attached to everyone. I realise that this is because I am passionate about what I am doing and want to be the best for them and myself.

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