I started a new job a couple of weeks ago teaching English with a language school based in Murcia city. They didn't give me a job in the city though but asked me to work in a co-operative grant maintained school in Cieza which is a very pleasant but lengthy 60km drive from home.
For three mornings a week I work in the school, with classes of youngsters. Their ages range from 12 to 16. I am there to do the authentic English bit - real structure, real vocabulary and real accent. Mainly speaking and listening rather than writing or reading.
For four afternoons a week I work in the same school buildings alongside a team of three or four other English speaking Spanish teachers. Indeed I work in the same classrooms, but this time for the academy, the private language school which sells English classes. The age range there is from six year olds up to adults.
I'm far from settled. The students seem nice enough and nobody has hit me or abused me directly as they did when I worked in Fortuna. First impressions are that the school is good and the staff have been perfectly friendly. On the other hand I still haven't worked out how a lot of it works or even got all of the various text books and other materials that are the basis for the ten different groups that I work with in the afternoons. Teaching full classes of ordinary schoolkids in a school is something completely new to me too.
All in all I have nineteen diffferent groups and getting to know them all is not something that comes easily to an old man with a failing memory. The teaching has been fine, I've even enjoyed most of it, but the record keeping has been driving me crazy. The records are necessary to ensure that I don't cover the same thing twice with the same group. Planning has also taken much longer than I like, and probably than it should. The truth is though that simple maths says that with so many groups even ten minutes per week on each means I'll be doing over three hours of unpaid work. All I can hope is that it will all become easier and faster as things settle down.
Or maybe I'll just decide that working isn't really for me any more and give it all up, sit in Culebrón and try to live off my small pension and the sweat of Maggie's brow.