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…

Can You Repeat That? Delicious Family Members…

Have you ever been relieved to return to work after a holiday? I somehow doubt it. What about school? Can you ever remember a time when you couldn’t wait to come back and show off what Santa had gotten you? In Spain, the majority of gifts are given on the day known as Epiphany (January…

Can You Repeat That? When False Friends Go to the Extreme

When I arrived in Spain over two years ago, I packed with me in my suitcase a phrase book; such was my level of the language before arriving. Before leaving, friends and family questioned why I was opting for Spain and not a country of either my mother tongue or the French language I had learnt for…

CYRT: Can I change my chair, please?

I’ve only come to know one type of table and chair in the classroom whilst working in Spain. If you were to look at them, they could only be described as a table and chair two-in-one – where a writing table extends out and in a way that traps you in its seat. Sometimes the table can…

Can you repeat that? When nature calls…

Ever found yourself in a position where you simply need to go, yet are unable to? Yes, I’m referring to what you’re thinking. It’s a frequent call. It’s a frequent call from nature. We have all been there. Powerless and wondering just how much longer you can physically last. It can happen at the most…