Casual is the way forwards!
There are rarely uniform in Spanish schools! The kids wear their own trainers, t-shirts and shorts – even the teachers dress in a much more relaxed way than teachers in the UK. Everyone looks a lot more colourful and comfortable!
First name terms
The teachers are all called by their first names – There is no such thing as ‘Miss’ or ‘Sir’. This makes the teacher/student relationship feel a more friendly!
As well as calling everyone by their first names the teachers often hug and kiss the students – as well as each other. In Spain two kisses on the cheek is the normal greeting and this is true inside the school too – I was kissed by every teacher on my first day and felt really welcomed.
No shouting please!
Spanish schools don’t seem be as strictly disciplined as schools in the UK. I have yet to see a child be shouted at by a teacher and detentions seem to be nonexistent. The kids tend to be a little cheekier as a result but they also do seem more relaxed in the school environment.
All the children use a bag on wheels – almost like a suitcase – to take their things to and from school. They do have a lot of books to carry around but it is quite funny to see at first!
Schools in Spain have a longer day than those in the UK. As it typical, my school begins at 9 and ends at 5. However there is a two hour break for lunch from 1 to 3 – a lot longer than lunchtime back home. This really breaks up the day and you can relax during lunch having time to eat out, read in the park or go for a coffee with the other teachers.
Whenever it’s a child’s birthday – at least a couple of times a week – they bring round treats for everyone! The staffroom often has a big cake, a tin of sweets or a box of biscuits on the table for people to eat as a celebration!
Hooray for holidays!
The holidays celebrated here are different. For example, the school does not celebrate Halloween but instead has a whole day dedicated to the traditional Catalonian festival of Castaneda or the chestnut festival. There are also lots of holiday days off – I’ve had three in a month!
It’s a family affair
At my school, and at many other Spanish schools, the infant, primary and secondary schools are all joined together. This means the children stay at the same school from 3 years old right up until they leave at 18. As a result, teachers and students really get to know each other over a long period of time creating a noticeable close knit, family vibe in the school which is so lovely to be a part of.
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