La Escuela Infantil
This semester, I am volunteering approximately 3-5 hours a week at a daycare. A bit of background on this particular daycare. La Escuela Infantil is located in one of the poorer barrios in Granada, Spain. The daycare runs from 8AM to 3PM Mondays through Fridays, and they have a room for babies, and several for 1-3 year olds. This daycare is set up in this particular barrio because a lot of immigrants and lower class citizens live around this area. For this reason, this escuela is where a lot of immigrant and poor children are dropped off while their parents work or try to find work during the day. And sadly, for a lot of children, this escuela is where they eat the majority of their food (if not all of it) and where they learn skills and manners that they may not be learning at home.
I went in the past few Mondays, and so far I am fascinated by the skills and lessons the children pick up here. The classroom I have been helping in is for 1 year olds, and I have been staying in the morning up until after lunch, which is when they take a nap. In the morning they have breakfast, lessons, and usually some kind of craft. Sometimes, when the children are all sitting in a circle and their teacher is singing songs with them, it doesn't seem like they are paying attention because a lot of them won't sing or won't even be looking in the right direction. However, I think they are actually picking up a lot more than it seems, because I can sometimes hear them repeat words they hear. And whenever a song involves hand movements, a lot of kids will move their hands too, even if they look distracted. It is difficult to catch a lot of these kids' attention, as I'm sure it is for most 1 year olds. Despite this, these children pick up on a lot, and I am glad there is a place for these children to go where they are able to learn a lot and be around adults who care so much about them, even though I hope they receive that kind of love at home as well.
My goals for volunteering at the Escuela Infantil this semester:
Overall, my expectations for this experience are that I am going to learn a lot about children's behavior and how these teachers work with them and gain their trust. As a future school psychologist, I am excited for this opportunity, and I hope to see this kids grow throughout the semester.
Overview of my Spanish life so far
Well, naturally I have not been very consistent with this blog because I am not really the daily journaling type (and believe me, I have tried to be). So, here is my overview of everything that has happened since Morocco!
After Morocco, a couple of friends and I took a day to recover and then hopped on a plane to Paris, where we spent four days exploring and being children at Disneyland. Paris was a lovely city, although I have to say I found it to be a bit overrated. HOWEVER, the crepes were delicious, the accents were divine, and I got to meet up with an old friend of mine who is nannying in Paris, which was a pleasant surprise. Overall, Paris is a great place to visit for a couple days. After that, I would recommend seeing what else France has to offer, because I'm sure it has plenty!
After Paris, February started and along with February came classes. Most of January was spent adjusting to the culture and traveling, so going to classes the first week was definitely a shock for us. As most of my fellow program friends exclaimed, "we have to take classes here?!" Who knew. This semester I am taking Spanish literature (Illustration, Romanticism, Realism), Conversation and Composition for my level, Image of the woman in literature, and Latin American Literature. Along with this, the Central College program requires that we have Phonetics and Tutorials, a Granada seminar every few weeks, and intercambios, where we meet up with Spanish students studying English. Lots of work, lots of literature, but so far classes are going great. Along with these classes, I am swing dancing twice a week, and just yesterday I was invited to a swing workshop where we learned aerials (lots of dips and flips). It was a blast. AND last but not least, I am volunteering 3-5 hours a week at a local daycare called la Escuela Infantil. You may be wondering, are you going to travel?? Absolutely, and this upcoming long weekend I am headed to Edinburgh, Scotland. Pictures to follow!
Almost forgot! Our program also went to Sevilla last weekend, where we celebrated my 21st birthday. Celebrating my birthday in Europe is just one of the memories I know I will never forget. I am so grateful for my parents for helping me have this opportunity of a lifetime! :) May the adventures continue...