Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Adios julio. Hola agosto.


July's been an interesting month. Starting at the end of June, I began saying goodbye in stages to the students I've been teaching this past year. The last ones were this week. Of course for many of them it was really, "hasta luego" ("see you later") rather than goodbye. But it's still a parting.
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It feels really good to look back and see the progress most have made, although a few have really only maintained. In some cases these are the folks who miss lessons and don't do work outside of class. However, for some others maintenance was the goal and it is good that they met that. In the former cases, there includes the occasional student who seems to think a teacher can implant the language into their head. In the latter, these are usually students at pretty advanced levels who take advantage of the lessons to practice and build confidence. Other than the few implant seeking individuals, I am blessed with students who are bright, stimulating and interested in learning.
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This month I have been fortunate to start with a couple of new students. Although pleasurable and interesting, it can also be a little stressful to start teaching someone new. In some ways, it is comparable to a blind date -- for all parties involved. Well, now that I've met and spent a little time with them, I can say they both seem like they will be excellent learners and a pleasure to teach. The fact that, rather than waiting until September or October, they want to start in August, which is practically a synonym for VACATION in Spain, speaks volumes about these two.
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In addition, I have been doing the language audits that I wrote about previously. This is really interesting work, because it's something different and involves speaking with individuals from around the country who have varying levels of English proficiency.
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What about my vacation, you may be asking. Well, we are blessed in Spain to have a good amount of time off. For example, Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the nearly month long Christmas / New Years / Epiphany break, in addition to a host of local, regional and national holidays. So, for August I will only work part time, will see some local sights (there are always things to discover and re-discover here), spend more time at the beach and will more or less take a week off in the middle of the month. (I say more or less, because although I won't be teaching, I will probably still do language audits that week.)
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Some of the Spaniards I know probably think I am just another workaholic American. Well, how about this? To acknowledge that I do live in a country where August is practically a synonym for VACATION, I will also post a little less on the blog.
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I mean, one has to adapt, right?
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Chao amig@s,
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Carloz

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