Experience as an auxiliar de conversación in IES Punta del Verde
October 2017 through May 2018
As an auxiliar de conversación in IES Punta del Verde, my role was multifaceted. I acted as a teacher, a mentor, a colleague, and a friend not only to the students, but also to the teachers.
I collaborated in various subjects and grade levels in Punta del Verde. For first year students, I assisted in biology, social studies, theater, and physical education classes. In second year, Math, Physics and Chemistry,and Art. In third year, Physics and Chemistry and Physical Education. In fourth year, Social studies. In first year of university preparatory courses (bachillerato), Physical education and Philosophy.
I also had the opportunity to work with first and second year students of higher-level professional courses of computer science.
My first weeks at Punta del Verde were focused on getting to know the students, teachers, and staff, and in turn they got to know me. For the students and teachers, I did an introductory PowerPoint with pictures of my family, state and city, university, hobbies, and travels. The students and teachers were very interested in where I came from and were very excited to see my life in the United States. Through this introductory period, I was able to chat with the students and learn all about them. We enjoyed asking each other various questions about our lives, which was a great start to our relationship in the classroom and building positive rapport.
In my classes, I performed a variety of functions. My overall task was to encourage and support the students with their oral English abilities. To promote speaking, I carried out various activities that also urged them to work in teams while reviewing material learned with their main teacher. These activities included fun games, such as Jeopardy (a popular TV game show in the United States, adapted appropriately for different course levels), Pasa Palabra, a football game, Plickers (a mobile and computer application used to quiz students via multiple choice questions with answers showing on the screen in real time), and gymkhanas (a game held in the patio that encompasses reading, writing, speaking, listening, and physical activity). Other activities that were used included videos, worksheets, readings, and writings. Students enjoyed the differing methods of learning, especially when I participated in physical education with them.
During my time at Punta del Verde, I also spent a lot of time working with the first-year theater class. I assisted the theater teachers with the writing, editing, and correcting of the script, as well as rehearsing the students’ individual parts, and with the, students I aided with pronunciation, memorization, and confidence in their speaking parts.
I had an amazing experience participating in the Erasmus project with Punta del Verde, ICS Giuseppe Montezelmolo, and IIS Via delle Sette Chiese, two schools in Rome, Italy. With this experience, I worked with the first-year of secondary and first-year of university preparatory courses. We did an exchange first in February where we traveled to Rome to meet the Italian students and families, then the Italian students came to Sevilla in April. Through this exchange, the students were able to practice their English skills while learning about a new culture. The students, teachers, and I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to meet new people and make new connections. I was able to get to know my students much better and all were able to use their English skills in a more natural and casual way.
Overall, my experience at IES Punta del Verde has been nothing but positive. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the teachers, staff, students, and parents. Everyone has been very welcoming to me, and remember, it’s not “Adiós,” it’s “Hasta luego.” I hope to see everyone again in the future!
- Ben Folkmann