Can You Repeat That? The Joys Of The Mixed Classroom.

There is a book I use for teaching English, a book by Adrian Underhill. The book isn’t about grammar, or about making your kids more attentive in class. It’s a book under the topic of what some call in the industry, paperless TEFL – for those who need something at the last minute, with little…

Back to the Island

It took me 48 minutes and 28 seconds to get from my flat to the airport. That’s right, I timed it on my phone. I often moan when I see the price of flights out of Seville’s pokey, yet charming airport but when you have such speedy public transport experiences like the above, it eases…

Heat

The day starts with a check of the weather. How hot is it going to reach today? Mid-thirties? Not too bad, although I see it’s going to creep closer to forty soon. Anything over thirty-five in June is considered a heat wave. Like in winter, the temperature here changes in summer without warning. One day…

Dear Aneira

Three weeks ago you came to us, yet it has felt longer. I can still picture the day we picked you up; how gingerly you walked up the stairs you now race me on. You came in to our lives nervous, scared and wondering whether or not we were yet another temporary foster. Now, we…

Aneira, Princess of the Macarena

As I type this, she lays there dreaming. Mouth twitching, perhaps she’s eating. Paws scurrying, perhaps she’s chasing something somewhere far away. She’s breathing normally, a welcome relief from a day previous. She wakes, and gives me a stare. ‘I’m sorry, did my clicking of the keys wake you?’ She continues to stare, and eventually…

When Students Get it Right

Just when you feel exam season is over, another one swiftly comes along. Cue panic, questions and panic once more. In my short time so far as a teacher, I’ve tried to better myself with each set of exams I’ve faced. ‘Could I make them feel more at ease? Could I explain it a little…

The Time We Decided to Move: Part 2

I rarely have trouble sleeping. It’s a trait of mine some envy. Siobhan envies it. Once I hit the pillow she claims I’m out within twenty minutes. For her, it can be up to an hour or more. When we moved to the centre of Seville, we noted how quiet our street was despite many…

The Time We Decided to Move

There are certain memories that just stick better than others. Once such recent memory was in September 2015. Siobhan and I had just spent the summer apart, and were preparing to return to Seville, this time to live in the city following a year living in towns outside it. Siobhan flew out a week earlier….

Can You Repeat That? Parents…

Parent-teacher meetings. I remember them well. I remember them more fondly for either getting the day off or finishing earlier and being allowed to go home. Some parent teacher meetings, I waited for news once my parents (more often than not my mother) came home. On the rare occasion, like an exam year, I accompanied…

Exams! Exams Everywhere! Part Two.

In part one I mentioned how I struggle to empathise with nervy students on the account of never being one. Here in Spain, young children are introduced to the idea of assessment from a young age, arguably younger than in Britain or Ireland. From the outside as their English teacher who isn’t connected to their…

Can You Repeat That? Exams! Exams Everywhere! Part One

February 10th 2017 I found myself sitting in the Jardins de Murillo this morning, about 3 minutes away from my flat in the centre of Seville. I had just finished a morning run, admittedly my first real cardio workout in nearly a fortnight. I could feel my heart slowly return to a resting heartbeat. Around…

Can You Repeat That? The time I almost lost it…

I’ve had my fair share of challenging students, and in turn challenging classes. In the world of English teaching, which I’ve immersed myself in; you grow accustomed to the fact that you’ll never have a timetable of ‘perfect’ classes. When you go to training sessions and seminars, you attend plenaries and workshops of those more…