Teaching and Classroom differences between the USA and Spain
*Disclaimer: These are only my observations from October 1- Nov 15 and are based on my experience at my instituto.
Each teacher has a different schedule, which means they start and end at different times, depending on the day. Some teachers love there schedule, others are not so happy about it.
Teachers change classes, not the students. This explains why class rooms barely have any decoration on the walls. I feel quite honored to have my own class where I can put up decorations. I plan to change the decor every few months.
Each teacher has an hour of Guardia. This hour is for teachers to cover another teachers class if they are out sick (or for another reason) that day. In Spain, substitutes come if a teacher will be away for a long period of time. If a teacher is sick, another teacher will cover for an hour or at an adult school, class is cancelled. This means in a 7 class day, a class will likely have 7 different teachers.
Teachers arrive to school when there class begins and leave as soon as they are finished with their classes.
It seems a lot of learning and teaching is done directly from a workbook.
Department meetings happen during the school day, not after. Occasionally teachers will have a later meeting after school but it seems to be the exception, not the rule.
There is no dress code. Many women teachers wear short skirts, tight shirts, show cleavage and often boots or cute sandals. Many times, I’ve thought the clothes are a little provocative. But then again, I’m comparing to what I’ve been accustomed to in the States.
Class room management is lacking in teacher training. I’ve heard from too many auxiliaries that teachers are constantly shouting at students to get them to pay attention. It’s not common for teachers to send troubling students to “the office” or to “the principal.” In the States, half of teaching (or rather a successful teacher) is classroom management. Ana, my spanish friend, mentioned classroom management classes are slowly becoming part of teacher’s training.