School has been much more enjoyable recently, no doubt something to do with working with older students who actually have a vague idea of what I am talking about. In fact, I have been so enamored with my students of late that I called upon the last of my precious Marmite supplies in order to give them an idea of British culinary peculiarities. I was surprised to find that there were a good few “lovers,” although admittedly they were in the minority.
I am currently rather concerned that my time with the older students in bachillerato is coming to an end. It has been proposed that from January the English language assistants spend all their time in primary. As if this wasn’t bad enough she also wants us to help out in kindergarden. The reason for this is that the level of English is much lower amongst the younger students and primary teachers. I can’t help but think it is only logical that students of four have slightly more problems with the English language, given that they are only just beginning to grasp their own. Furthermore it is a complete mystery to me what difference will be made by having Duran and I in primary all the time, where the only results of our presence seem to be manifested in our personal stress and frustration. Only today I was asked where I was from by a 6 year old student who I distinctly remember giving my introductory “I am from England,” class to. On reiterating that I was from England she then asked me what language we spoke there. I think this just about sums up the gravity of the situation.
I have a meeting tomorrow with the headmistress in which I am hoping to explain how ludicrous these proposals are, perhaps in slightly less strong words. I will have to do this in Spanish, as, despite her being the headmistress of a semi-bilingual school, she does not speak English herself.
In order to give a better idea of what my day to day school life is like I am going to post a link to a video courtesy of my fellow mona, Kristin.
Officially in Spanish mona means monkey, but here they use it to refer to a blonde person, which you can take as you will. Kristin is the American teacher at José Max León and needless to say is a necessary ally when dealing with the frustrating lack of organization, ridiculous bureaucracy and complete lack of discipline which is ever present at the shameless money making business in which we work. A business which unsuccessfully and shamelessly attempts to disguise itself as altruistic institution despite charging parents extra in order to receive their own children’s school reports.
Now I have manifested my discontent you will probably watch this video and it will undermine all my complaints, as admittedly in this video the kids do actually come across as rather sweet. Testimony to Kristin’s excellent film work and editing more than anything else.