A Day in the Life of a Language Assistant

Even though it’s a bit late in the year to be writing this, I thought I’d share what one of my days looks like as a language assistant here in Madrid. 

There are a number of programs in Spain which hire native English speakers such as myself including CIEE, BEDA, and NALCA.  Your school schedule will depend on your placement school. Many auxiliares (assistants) work Monday to Thursday, but my placement school requires the other three assistants and I to come in Tuesday through Friday. Since we are working with a student visa, we cannot work more than four days a week. However, other language academies often offer temporary positions and you will be bombarded with tutoring opportunities from parents at the beginning of the year. 

Every language assistant I’ve spoken to has had their own unique experience. Some assistants teach only at their placement schools with plenty of time to travel, take Spanish classes, join a gym, etc. Others completely fill their days up with private tutoring, conversation exchanges, and other small jobs. This year I chose to do a bit of both. I teach at my placement school every day, once a week I give English classes at a local high school, once a week I give private lessons to two of my students, and twice a week I teach second graders at a local English academy.

With that said, here is a photo tour of how one of my busiest days looks like: 

6:45 am: Wake up and hit the snooze button till about 7:10. Get dressed, eat breakfast, pack a lunch, and make sure I have all of my lessons ready for the day.

7:50 am: Leave my apartment and take the metro at the end of my street one stop to the bus station. 

8:10 ish am: Take the bus to Collado Villalba with my assistant friends which takes more or less 25 minutes (depending on how much coffee the bus driver has had that morning and how much traffic you run into). 13161275_10201700838678758_448075828_o

8:35 am: Walk from the bus stop to school. 13120950_10201700828358500_1424368247_o

8:45 am: Three of us have been drawing, coloring pages from my adult coloring book, and talking as final “quiet before the storm” activities before the students flood the stairway and the halls. 12722616_10201499328481129_859211618_o

9:00 am: School starts. My days are split between helping 1st, 2nd, and 6th grade classes. (First photo thanks to the 1st grade teacher I work with) The board with the posters are ones I’ve made for second grade throughout this year. spelling 13161282_10201700829158520_499462830_o 13054607_10201656345206449_1127277906_o

11:45 am: “Patio” or break time for the kids while the teachers have a coffee and a small breakfast. On Fridays we get churros! 13199495_10201721538796248_258754790_o

12:15 pm: Back to classes.

2:00 pm: School ends and lunch time! I also plan the rest of my lessons for the afternoon. 13120480_10201700834118644_1572326597_o 13161503_10201700834238647_1097359704_o

2:45 pm: Walk to a local French/Spanish bilingual high school to give English lessons from 3:00-4:00. 13128528_10201700834518654_1556741963_o 13128821_10201700834918664_1483541688_o 13148072_10201700835238672_1648344160_o 13128649_10201700836198696_768215544_o

4:00 pm: Walk to a local English academy to teach second graders from 4:30-5:30. 13161510_10201700836998716_248663838_o 13148200_10201700837038717_1776920542_o 13112484_10201700837078718_1328321466_o

5:30 pm: Walk to the bus stop and ride back to Madrid central. 13169945_10201700837398726_1316559540_o

6:05 pm: Arrive back at the bus station. 13128808_10201700838078743_926273565_o

6:10 pm: Take the metro back to my street. 13128844_10201700839078768_823905460_o

6:15 pm: Arrive at home and have a much needed break with a coffee or tea! 13120544_10201700839158770_1109129960_o



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