Q: What do you have to do to reapply for a second year?
A: Since I’m currently working as an auxiliar, the re-application process was relatively simple. One difference is that we follow a separate time line than new applicants – we enjoy a “first come, first served” preference and our placements are awarded much MUCH faster than the first time. The most notable difference is that we don’t have to re-do all of that hideous paperwork involved in the first round. This time the requirements include: a letter of recommendation from your director, a one-page letter of motivation and an online application submitted via Profex. Apparently this time around they trust that you have remained in good health and the FBI is not after you.
Q: Do you have to stay in your current location or can you go somewhere new?
A: Second year auxiliares have the option to relocate or stay put. This decision is a lot harder than you may think. After 6 months in one place, you become comfortable with your surroundings. The teachers, the students, and the buildings are familiar. In my case, I have a long running love affair with the region of Andalucia and this experience has only added to the memories. Last month our students realized that Jaime and I are at a crossroads for next year and have been asking if we will return to San Antonio and to Bollullos. For me the answer is no, after some serious thought, I requested a move to central Madrid to work in an urban school.
Q: What is the time frame for accepting or declining the offer?
A: In dramatic Spanish form, you receive an email entitled: Adjudicación de Plaza
Ha sido adjudicada la plaza en This City, España a su solicitud 123456 del programa de Auxiliares de Conversación en España.
Si desea aceptar la plaza, hágalo a través del menú de la izquierda en Profex en el plazo de cinco (5) días hábiles a partir de la recepción de este correo. Si desea renunciar comuníquelo en ese mismo plazo a Señor So and So.
This is similar to the email that scared the hell out of me when it appeared in my inbox in May 2010, four days before my graduation from graduate school. “You have five days from receipt of this email to accept or deny this post” sounds pretty serious, doesn’t it? In reality you are not fully committed until you sign a contract, many months later. Even then, you can withdraw your position if your circumstances change. In fact, there can be 800-1,000 people waiting for you to do just that.
All in all the re-application took 4-6 weeks, significantly shorter than the first round. I also received my first choice in location, which is not always the case in the first year.
Q: Are you interested in being an auxiliar for a second year?
A: Yes and no. At the age of 27 with a Masters under my belt, I am uncertain if I should focus my attentions on teaching English for another school year. At the end of the day this is a phenomenal experience, and the addition to my resume is a serious one. I chose the position in part because it is related with a government agency (the Ministry of Education). I accepted the first year opportunity with the understanding that I would be working and living abroad, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. This program also gave me a direct line back to my beloved Spain, and who can say no to that? Taking advantage of a second year abroad is exciting, but also daunting. Madrid is nothing like Andalucia, which is why I made the choice… now is a good time to try living in a big city and uproot myself from what has become so comfortable. I continue to apply for jobs both domestically and internationally, but as we turn the corner toward summer, it looks as though the capital city has a prominent role in my future.
Q: Do you think you’ve made an impact on your school?
A: This is such a popular question! Do the kids speak better English? I doubt it. Do the kids speak more English? Also not entirely true. Do they know where Pennsylvania is on a map? I think so .. now that we’ve established I do not come from the same place Dracula does (after much discussion). It is hard to gauge how much of an impact one person can make on 120+ students in a short amount of time. I’m sure there are specific things that will stick with them – like Frank Sinatra singing Let it Snow, or how American teenagers can drive at 16 years old, or how mashed potatoes are not just for Thanksgiving. We recently taught them “gonna” and “wanna” and have been trying to make a dent in their knowledge of colloquial American English… it can’t all come from books you know. And I’ll be damned if they’re only going to learn British English! Every little bit counts 🙂
For other questions that you may have about this adventure check out my previous Q&As:
Q&A Spotlight on School – about where I teach and what I’m teaching
Q&A Instituto – more info on the students, dress code & holidays
Q&A In Sickness & in Health – the pharmacy, the medical insurance & other fun things
Q&A Teaching & Language – exactly what it sounds like!
Q&A Show Me the Money – self explanatory