A lot has changed since my first week in Villanueva. I have moved out of the transition phase and grown more and more accustomed to life here with my family and at the Academia, creating a routine and familiarizing myself with the people of the town.
Even though the transition phase is over and we are beginning our third week of intensive classes, I find that teaching the courses here is constantly engaging. Each week I teach several classes, at least one of each level, whether it be B1, B2, C1, or our adorable young learners. This provides me with the opportunity to design and execute lesson plans for a variety of students with different levels and strengths. It is fascinating to see how individuals interact in class with the material. I am learning how to facilitate learning, something that is very specific for each person and also very particular for Spanish speakers learning English! It forces me to think quickly in both languages and consider the contrasting communication styles of each.
It is also important to mention that the students at the Academia are wonderful. Truthfully, I greatly admire their dedication to their English studies, especially during the summer. For some it is obligatory for a job or for school, but for some it is purely for their own satisfaction. However, no matter the reason, every student arrives to class with a positive attitude and a real desire to improve. Because of this, teaching at the Academia is a pleasure.
I am already starting to feel sad at the thought of saying goodbye to my students in a few weeks. I could not have realized how special it would be to be able to discuss all sorts of themes with them and get to know their personalities in such a unique way. Through each week’s topics, such as travel or media, politics or fashion, I have been able to see the world through their eyes a little which is truly enriching as we come from such different backgrounds. I will certainly remember the things I have learned from my students long past my short stay in Villanueva because they have allowed me a greater understanding of Spain and its culture.