I slept most of the way to Cuellar but the time I was awake it was nothing but rolling brown-gold hills of recently harvested grain or straw. When the bus came to a stop I got off of the bus with the majority of people but started to freak out thinking this was a smaller stop before we actually got to Cuellar.
Inside the station I asked around if anyone knew where La Villa (the elementary school where I will work on Wednesdays) is located. The first two attempts yielded no information but then I found a younger lady who pointed me in the right direction.
From the time I stepped off the bus it was evident that this a town of live stock farmers, however visually you wouldn’t know it, maybe they keep the cows, sheep and pigs locked up.
I wandered in the direction indicated for a few blocks and found a couple walking with a little girl and they assured I was on the right path. A green, metal fence closed off an empty playground.
I met some guy, whose name I don’t remember. This man had the most unintelligible Spanish I have yet to encounter in Spain, but soon I met the director of the school and he took me around to see the different English classes. The first class was English for preschool students with Maria and her assistant. There were several crying and it seemed a bit chaotic so we headed back out the door after introducing me. Then we went over to talk to Mila who teaches first and 3rd grade English. After we talked a bit I decided I would stay and hang out with the Preschoolers. These little kids were so adorable, each one wore an oversized shirt type thing with their name embroidered on it which made things slightly easier but half of the time you couldn’t read it because the fabric was folded or the kid was rolling around on the floor.
One little girl Lucia was crying for what ever reason and Maria was trying to console her and then Ester started crying. I later found out that Ester cries a lot and that she is Bulgarian and doesn’t know much Spanish. I went over to Edel and rubbed her back and talked to her in a nice voice and tried to help her calm down. I was really surprised by how well I did; little kids and I don’t always have the best interaction. I think this class is going to be really fun. The teacher told me as we were leaving the class that she has never taught pre-school before so that should really add another level of interesting to my year at this school.
I went to spend third hour with Mila and her 1st grade English class. When I walked in Mila asked if there were any questions for me and all the kids started talking at once. One little girl asked where I am from. When I said the united stated she responded “like jenny!” Jenny is a girl from last year´s group that came from California. We met online and she helped me with a few things before I got to Spain; including selling me a phone from Movistar with a horrible plan. Then another girl with hand raised, lifting out of her seat as if being pulled by an electromagnet above. After the inquest I sat on the windowsill and they began class by singing a song about how they are ready to begin English class… then they were talking about the weather too. What the heck is so important about the weather? When they were told to look out the window I tried to raise the metal shutters so they could see. The cord snapped and Wham! the shutters slammed closed.
Mila ended class and kids took out snacks and headed for the patio, the playground which is totally covered in concrete. Patio is also what they call recess. The bigger kids take the soccer area and littler kids play basketball and end up playing soccer there later. Girls hang out in groups and talk and jump rope. There is this area in the corner where kids try to get out of view of the teachers and succeed. All of the some kid comes like a bat out of Hades and says that some kid is hitting another kid. So we go to check it out. Then a girl comes to report a boy for throwing a juice box over the fence. The teacher beckons for the boy to come talk to her. This kid is bigger than the rest of the kids and not so sharp mentally or kinesthetically. We later see him throw a whole apple which missed its target by a mile and narrowly missed hitting a girl standing nearby.
A few minutes before I left a soccer ball went sailing towards a circle of girls playing some game that looked like duck duck goose, red rover and musical chairs mixed. The girl looked like she was going to fall over from the force but her neck just sprung back to normal and she began to cry as the boys ran over to see if she was OK.