Jordan from England has experienced working in a couple of European countries, his current placement being teaching English in Toledo, Spain. He tells us what it is like, and how things have changed after the Covid-19 outbreak – not only for the worse as he says the pandemic has taught him new skills.
Hey! I’m Jordan and I am originally from England. After completing my MA degree at the University of Leeds, I worked at a kindergarten in Budapest, Hungary for one year.
After my experience in Budapest, I decided to start teaching in Spain as the wages are better and it makes it easier for me to visit my family back in England. I spent five months teaching in Caceres, then moved to Toledo in January 2020 to work as an English Language Assistant for an academy called Dreaming California. I found this teaching opportunity through the portal Erasmus In School.
Toledo is one of the friendliest places I’ve been to! Upon arriving I was met by my boss, Laura, at the station, who helped me settle in the city and even to find a flat on the night I arrived. As I got to know my boss, we became very close friends and bonded over our shared love for Shania Twain . Without a doubt, this is the best boss I have had and we will remain lifelong friends. The friendship I have with Laura is one of the reasons I enjoy living in Toledo so much.
As many people are when it comes to a new job, I was very nervous and wondered if I would be a good teacher. Even though I have plenty of teaching experience I always find it daunting when starting work at a new school. Luckily, after my first day teaching, any doubts I had were put to one side as I soon found a way to adapt my teaching style to suit the needs of the academy.
At Dreaming California, the main goal is to teach English and this can be done in many different methods. The main objective in our academy is that you can learn practical English with native teachers, under a methodology without books, but under a structured programme and with real-life simulations reinforced through good pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, oral and reading skills.
One method that surprised me was the ‘fun’ way of learning English. In this style of teaching, the focus is more on conversation and ensuring that the students feel confident in speaking. In this lesson, students are provided with food and even beer if they wish!
Teaching in Toledo has taught me much more than any training could have done. It has shown me many features of being a teacher that I didn’t learn in university.
Life in Spain is brilliant. Tapas is delicious and with bars, cafes, and restaurants on every corner, it’s hard to get bored. The scenery is brilliant too and makes great pictures for Instagram. I live close to Madrid which has made travelling around Spain fun and easy, and I have made friends of different nationalities across the country. So far, Valencia is my favourite place to visit.
The friendliness and kindness of Spanish people have made my time in Toledo lovely.
The Coronavirus has completely changed the way we live and work, as it has for most of us. Confined to my flat, I am now teaching online.
With no experience of online teaching, the experience could have been a complete nightmare, especially since none of us knew how long the lockdown would last. But as always, we worked together and made the change work well. With plenty of resources and guidance with what software to use, it made the changes to the classes seem smooth. The experience of working from home has allowed me to expand on my skills as a teacher and I can’t wait to be back in the classroom environment so I can bring these new skills into my style of teaching.
Whilst the academy is only small (there’s me, my boss and one other teacher), we make a great team and always help each other out. With such a friendly and helpful atmosphere, it a pleasure to work with such lovely people.
All in all, moving to Spain has been a delight so far and even though the Coronavirus has brought challenges, working with people that are so kind and helpful has made it all so much easier.
Youth story by Jordan Lyon, submitted via Erasmus in School platform.
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