When I say that I love my job, I really mean that. There hasn’t been one day that I’ve felt dread about going to “work.” The students are so eager to learn English (and to teach me Spanish), the teachers are so inclusive and are quickly becoming great friends and the village where my school is offers beautiful views of the snow capped mountains, making my commute rather enjoyable.
Here are some of my recent highlights:
Halloween is a new phenomenon over here. I intentionally brought my Mrs. Potato Head costume for this occasion, truly expecting it to be a huge hit. But turns out Mrs. Potato head would have only caused mass confusion. If you ever find yourself celebrating Halloween in Spain, don’t expect to see any rockstars, bunnies, football players, Mrs. Potato Heads… Only the creepy, crawly, scary, traditional Halloween costumes. Lots of little ghosts, mummies, and witches running around… all in strikingly identical costumes probably purchased from the one convenience store in their village.
The other assistants and I performed a story we created about a ghost that steals candy from black cats and zombies, which actually made a handful of first graders cry.
Then we broke into smaller groups and I told a story about the Canterville Ghost, while my teacher hid in the corner of the room. When the story finished, she jumped out and scared all the kids, which actually made one fourth grader cry. Maybe Spain isn’t quite ready for Halloween yet… I don’t know.
Field trip to the mountains
Third and fourth grade got to take a science field trip to a tree conservatory in the mountains. It was a freezing day, sprinkled with snowflakes, but we still managed to learn about trees, take plenty of pictures of cow poop (seriously, why?!) and play lots of games.
This wasn’t exactly the little yellow school bus I imagined we would take.
Special guest: THE Pilot Steve!
My dad had three trips to Madrid in November, and on his last trip he sacrificed valuable sleep to visit my school and talk about his job as a pilot.
Sometimes I forget that my dad has a pretty cool job, but these kids quickly reminded me.
We had to walk across the playground during recess to enter the school, and immediately my dad was SWARMED.
“Oh! The father of Erica!”
“Will you autograph my diary?!”
“The father of Erica is so beautiful!”
The principal had to help me pull the kids off of him and we became this rockstar’s body guards for the rest of the day. It was hilarious.
So Pilot Steve told the kids all about his exciting life, tried to explain why I broke the chain of pilots in the family (great question, kid.), and answered many, many other amusing questions.
Then, this ensued. AUTOGRAPH TIME. Nothing could have prepared him for this. Clothes were ripped, tears were shed, friends were pushed. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. We had reached Justin Bieber status, people.
Tomorrow we will celebrate Thanksgiving and eat a traditional feast… with chicken instead of turkey. All the students had to write just one thing they are thankful for to put on the school’s turkey, and one boy wrote, “I am thankful for Erica and the father of Erica.” It’s the little things like words written on a feather that fill my heart with happiness and affirmation.
Our next big field trip will be in March when the third and fourth grade go SKIING! We drop the kids off with ski instructors and the teachers have a kid-less day of skiing. Ski passes, ski clothes and ski equipment: all free.
This IS the life.