Well, week two is complete here at RMSI in Barcelona. I have learned so much this week. I have a great mentor teacher, Mrs. Mary, who has been very encouraging and helpful during my time at RMSI. I am placed with 6th grade girls, and I teach with Mrs. Mary in English, Science, and Art classes. Before arriving in Spain I assumed that I would really only be in English classes, but that has not been the case. I have already taught a couple of Science and art classes, which has been quite interesting since my certification is in Language Arts and Social Studies. However, I love my girls, and the environment of the school!
There are most definitely some differences between American public schools and RMSI. For starters the school I am placed at is a Private school, and the students pay tuition to attend. Almost all of the students walk to and from school every day; there are not school buses to drop the students off. There is security in the schools such as the doors remaining locked throughout the day, but students can walk home for lunch, and the parents wait outside the school to pick up their kids; there is no real system in place as far as who can or cannot pick up the kids. Also, all of the kids get to take breaks to go outside and play throughout the day. There is time for students to play before school, playground time, and after lunch. Once students begin middle school in America, there is no time for recess and the students stay in class all day. I think having the playground time eliminates a lot of behavioral problems in the school. The students also stay in their classrooms, and the teachers come to them for class. So the teachers are switching classes. This was the strangest thing to me, because in middle schools in America, the students switch and the teachers have a set room which they stay in. The students are also much louder in Spain, and there is not a set way to handle discipline here, Mrs. Mary will just send girls out to the hallway if they are being a major distraction, but nothing further happens from that. The school, teachers, and students are also much more relaxed in Spain than they are in America.
I have also witnessed that kids across the globe are virtually the same. A 6th grade student in Spain, behaves just like a 6th grade student in America. All of the students love to play with slime, and I have had to confiscate it in both countries. But PTL fidget spinners have not made it to Spain yet! The middle school girls in Spain love to wear chokers just as much as the middle school girls in America. The kids love to listen to the same music, and talk about the same kinds of topics. I have found it to be very interesting to see the similarities in the students, even when the atmosphere of the school and country is different.
Life is certainly a little different in Spain, and from what I have seen this does play out in the school system. However, the way things run here in Spain work REALLY well. There are quite a few things that I would love to see schools in America incorporate, but I do not think that they would actually work as well in American in schools.
I love being here at RMSI and in Barcelona. This pas week in addition to be able to teach multiple lessons, and get to know my students more, I was able to attend a Barcelona Fútbol game and see Rome. This past week has been a blast, there are some pictures below so you can see some of my adventures.