Teacher Emma

I hope you are all familiar with the book Teacher Man by Frank McCourt. If not, you should read it- seriously you can do it in like 2-3 hours.

He was Teacher Man, and I am Teacher Emma. He taught English, and so do I. He lead the class, and I lead the class- sometimes- and other times I lurk in the front and say nothing. He had a funny accent, and so do I. I’m from Chicaaaaago. I don’t pronounce the T’s in 20, 30, 40 etc. But he was in America, and I of course am in Spain.

The methodology of teaching that I learned in school has not been applicable. Maybe because I work with the little ones instead of High School. And I’m not teaching Spanish (would be absurd). I did think that in an elementary school the teachers would be a little more lovey dovey with little kids. Errrrrrrr, nope.

There is one school and one teacher that I work with that drive me insane. Said teacher does not know some of the students names. Said teacher does not usually know what will happen with the lesson, thus allowing the little snots to get off task and go buck wild for five minutes, and then this teacher yells at the students for five minutes, AND since class NEVER starts on time, there’s about 15 minutes of learning happening from the hour available.

About the whole “time” thing: I’m usually late, but rarely/never in professional situations (jobs, student teaching…).

my life

On my first day of school, which according to my schedule started at 9 a.m, I was almost late. I blame public transportation. I rolled up to the bus stop at 8:57 and rushed towards the school only to see that all the kids were outside waiting in the courtyard. So….I don’t have to run in the classroom sweating and panting as my first impression? Vale.

The bell rings at 9. Now school starts. Oh, but wait, nobody is inside yet. Okay, the kids meander in, run in, fall in, pick their noses in, and push in to the school. It’s 9:07. There are two rooms where the English classes take place. I wasn’t sure which one I’d be in first.

I go wait by one. Dark. Okay, 2nd floor. Dark.

It’s 9:12. Back to the first floor. I look down the hall and there is the teacher I work with getting the kids.

Okay… we’re all in the classroom now. Everyone is bumbling, one girl does the splits. Someone throws their pencil case so that they have to get up and get it (really?). I actually can’t say that High School students were much different.

I have no idea what time it is now, but the teacher is flipping through some books deciding what to do. Then he has me read aloud a bogus story. Almost no one is listening. I can understand why. This lesson is something I probably did day one of student teaching. Learn what sucks, and get creative.

Not in Spain.

Show up when school starts, not before. Leave when it ends, it’s lunch time derrr.

However, not all the teachers I work with stink (literally and figuratively). The rest are fine, and open to my ideas, my height, and my “special accent.” Plus, only once have I seen one of them send a student in the hall with their arms up in the air as punishment. WTF.

It’s different, but i cherish the moments that I hear “Teacherrrrr Emmaa!” and I get a big hug. Plus living in the same city as my students I hear it on the street alllll the time. Like why does that random Spanish child know me? ahhhh I’m Teacher Emma.

Time to make dinner with the roomies. Even the communist boy scout.

When in Spain….

un beso




  1. Sounds like the time of your life!! Enjoy and keep posting your adventures . . . don’t go with strangers, look both ways before you cross the street . . . sorry, was channeling Vivi there for a second.

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