I make an honest amount of money between working part time a Language Assistant and an English tutor. I work in a bilingual high school with children between the ages of 12 and 18. I love my job as a Language Assistant; however, there are social and cultural differences between Spanish and American schools. Frist, the kids are wild and get away with things that US teachers wouldn’t put up with in a classroom. For example, cheating is looked down on and punished in America, but in Spain teachers look the other way and continue with lecture. There’s a noticeable difference between Spanish and American education. Second, children in Spanish schools are polar opposite of American children in the way they behave at school. Spanish children have not as strict rules compared to American children. For example, it is normal for Spanish children to run down the hall and scream at the top of their lungs. Spanish teachers do not correct this behavior; however, in America this behavior would not be tolerated. The way Spanish children behave would, also, suggest there is no structure in the classroom.
In Spain, teachers move to different classrooms. Each grade level is assigned a home classroom where they stay for all their classes. This classroom style is different in the United States. Teachers have an assigned classroom, but students move to different classrooms for class. I see pros and cons to these two styles.
- Students are already in a classroom less moving around= already in their designated spot
- Teachers have to move from class to class with all their material = can create hassle
- Teachers have a set base classroom for teaching = less hassle of moving around
- Students have to move to different rooms = creates problems moving students to different parts of a school
I find having the students assigned to a room to be best choice for who has the classroom. There are more students than teachers and moving children around is a hassle. Teachers have to watch and make sure they don’t lose children in route to another classroom. If a student gets lost in route to a different classroom, this creates trouble for the teacher. The best answer is to have the students assigned to one classroom. The students are contained to a room!!!
Another difference between these two countries is break time and time spent teaching.
- Classes run an hour long
- Depending on the schools there’s a 2 hour long lunch break or short 20 minute break
- Less play and more class
- School starts at 8:20 a.m. and runs to 2:00 p.m.
- Lunchtime about 45-60 minutes long
- School starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends about 4:15ish p.m.
- More time spend learning
- 2 more hours spent at school
I wanted to give my readers a lens into what a Spanish high looked liked and operated. In a future post, I will go into more detail about what a bilingual high school in Spain is and the different programs a school like this offers for children in Spain.