Life as an Auxiliar de Conversacion: Part 1

Are you thinking of becoming a language assistant? Are you in the process of applying for the position and don’t know which region to choose? In this series you will read about Filipinos who shared their thoughts on life as an auxiliar de conversacion.

I recently conducted a survey to help incoming and current Filipino auxiliars understand our roles as language assistants, and to give an insight about the different regions (called comunidades autonomas— autonomous communities here) and why our fellow Pinoys chose them. Thanks to the members of the community who answered the survey!

First on our list of interviewees is Teri!

Teri, 23, Granada City, Province of Granada (Andalucía)

life as an auxiliar de conversacion
(L): Teri; (R): Apple Language Courses
What stage of the Spanish education system do you teach? (Infantil, Primaria, Secundaria, Bachillerato, Vocational School, Official Language Schools) 

A combination of stages.

Were you part of Stage 1 (partner school), or Stage 2 (public call)?

My teacher was from a partner school, I was referred to Sandra directly even though I wasn’t from a partner school.

What were you doing before you came to Spain?

I was studying in UA&P (AB and MA Humanities), so I was a fresh graduate when I went to Spain! Actually, my visa interview at the consulate was a few days after my graduation, so I was able to show them my fresh diploma as proof of my studies.

Why did you choose this region?

Warm climate and people, historical research (which didn’t actually happen) in Sevilla, knew people from Huelva (2019-2020) and Granada (2020-2021).

life as an auxiliar de conversacion
Photo: Wikipedia
How many teachers do you work with? What subjects do you teach, and what do you usually do as a language assistant?

I work with 4 teachers in geography and history, 1 teacher in Bachillerato philosophy, 1 teacher in biology and geology, 3 teachers in maths, 1 teacher in English and technology, and 1 teacher in art. I have control of the entire hour and topic (geography and history, philosophy), or assist in what the teachers want (maths, biology, English and tech, art). My schedule changes every week because I’m the only aux in a big school; I can’t make meaningful connections with some students because I only meet them once a month. Due to the pandemic, 3rd and 4th year high school as well as 1º Bachillerato classes are divided into 2 groups, and these are the ones I meet once a month. There are other groups though that I meet more than once because of different subjects, and these are the 1st and 2nd year high school students.

How’s the “payment”? Are you always paid on time, or have there been any delays?

My school pays me on time, at the end of each month or the start of the next month. Never any delays.

How’s your house-hunting experience? Tell us about your living situation.

I live with the owner of the flat and her partner. My house-hunting experience took a total of 1 week (mid-August), and I moved in at the start of September. I pay 300€/month with all bills included (“gastos incluídos”) which gives me peace of mind during cold winter months here in Granada.

How do you travel to school?

I have 2 bus options near me or I also walk 2.4 km to the school. Going home I have 3 bus options but sometimes I also walk.

Have you experienced any difficulties this year? (Not enough communication with the coordinator, difficulty with Spanish paperwork, etc.).

My coordinator’s pretty clueless about how the program works (thank God I’m a second-year aux now) and I fear for the next aux that gets assigned to my school. I started mid-October because the Covid coordinator had to get me to the health center for the Covid fingerprick test (required by all Granada auxiliares before going to the school; it’s free).

Any other tips/advice you’d like to share with incoming language assistants?

All my advice can be found here: https://bit.ly/3nvIMJx

*****

The language assistants’ answers are unedited, and by answering the survey, the responders gave this blog permission to post their photo (optional) and their responses.

Did you like this series about life as an auxiliar de conversacion? Let me know your thoughts! CM

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