CULTURAL AMBASSADORS: XOVE, SPAIN

Recuerdos de Xove

Recuerdos de Xove

To most, Xove, is just a small town in Spain. ¬†To me, it’s where I grew with a community in the multilingual immersion program CEIP Pluriling√ľe Pedro Caselles Roll√°n.

C: Nothing will ever change what we accomplished in Xove. ¬†We will remember these experiences¬†for the rest of our lives. ¬†I am so grateful to have had¬†Marga serve as my mentor. ¬†I don’t know what I would have done without your kind heart and caring nature.

U: I can remember the first day like it was yesterday. The kids had made me a “Welcome Benjamin” sign. When I first arrived, I signed over 200 signatures for all the children¬īs books because they thought I was famous. My first task was to make a presentation about my home state. I set the stage repping my¬†Georgia The Peach State presentation with Hotlanta and where the bulldawgs barked.

L: In time, I revamped the English program with new media tools such as Google Picasa/Google+, Pinterest Boards, a Cannon EOS 60D DLSR camera, Slideshare, and blogging. I taught the kids about American holidays like April Fools, Christmas, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. However, their favorite was the Mustache presentation when I participated in No Shave November.   I made learning English fun through gamification like the Thriller Dance, an interactive whiteboard, & Cribbage.

T: I taught the kids about how Arnold Schwarzenegger could “get to the chopper” and bashed on why you should never call an eraser a rubber. I translated Gallego paragraphs into English in Mathematics, while challenging them to solve word problems and understand poetry. I played basketball with the¬†kids time to time. “¬°Mach√°tate, Benjam√≠n!,” they would scream in delight of my own dunk contest. I attended all of the kids plays and supervised field trips that consisted of cultural learning and crazy Spanish children¬†singing. ¬†I took a siesta to escape from the children when I could or prepared my ears for the dreaded ruler slap.

U: I experienced our roof blowing off and the school flooding. I got schooled by kids in soccer, told I couldn’t speak Spanish, and played the guitar one day by surprise. I ate churros and chocolate and danced in a parade during Carnival dressed as a wizard. ¬†I worked in the dining hall¬†with infantiles that could only speak in Gallego. ¬ŅQuieres mais?¬†The sound of the bell in the hallway with me yelling “¬°Afuera de mi clase!” or the kids chanting “Benjam√≠n” in el comedor to slap the top of the door is ingrained in my mind. ¬†I routinely grabbed a bite to eat in the¬†comedor after and quietly listened to¬†the¬†other teachers speak in another beautiful language I had never studied — Gallego.

R: I broke down cultural barriers with Jeopardy and enlightening them what scattered “all the way hash browns” meant. ¬†I spearheaded an origami program with the¬†young one¬īs and danced to music videos to create real art lessons. I drank coffee everyday with the teachers, while I tweeted out linguistic tweets. I showed the kids my travel experiences across Europe and had a special Christmas dinner with the teachers. ¬†I learned about the spanish singers the classes liked and formed collaborative Spotify playlists of 1,400 Spanish songs. The kids bestowed upon me bracelets and hugs in return like I was their hero.

E: I met the parents and gave private lessons to some of the kids after school. I took the bus, longboarded to school, and carpooled with colleagues.   I translated my resume into Spanish, studied Spanish constantly, and improved my doodling skills. I finished my last days supplementing gardening projects and teaching vocab. The entire school was understanding when my father passed, made me a birthday cake, gave me a book of Galicia, and un gran miranda before I left.  I have never felt so appreciated at a job in my life and have a newfound respect for teachers.

Only vivid¬†and fond memories of my experience in Xove will continue with hope of returning one day. I saw the kids dance this summer in Viveiro to Galician folklore and it’s my favorite memory of Spain. I wouldn’t trade this last year for anything. ¬†Without the experiences I had there, I would never have understood how another good-hearted culture¬†lives.

Google+ Albums & Google Stories:

  1. Recuerdos del Cole Xove
  2. CEIP Pluriling√ľe Pedro Caselles Roll√°n de Xove Excursion 1¬†
  3. CEIP Pluriling√ľe Pedro Caselles Roll√°n de Xove Excursion 1¬†Story
  4. CEIP Pluriling√ľe Pedro Caselles Roll√°n de Xove Excursion 2¬†
  5. CEIP Pluriling√ľe Pedro Caselles Roll√°n de Xove Excursion 3¬†
  6. CEIP Pluriling√ľe Pedro Caselles Roll√°n de Xove Excursion 3 Story¬†

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