1. Most public schools are surrounded by a prison fence (that the kids still jump over by the way) and you need to ring the bell for the security guard/secretary/janitor guys (los conserjes) to let you in.
This fence isn’t so bad, but some are much more intense!
2. The teachers don’t have their own classrooms. They change rooms every period and they teach various grade levels. In between classes they hang out in the big teacher’s lounge. They seem to like going to class less than the kids!
3. Teachers dress casually, just like the kids. Sometimes it can be confusing with the younger teachers if they’re a student or a teacher. The second day of school this year I totally confused a new coworker I’d met the day before with a student. It was embarrassing!
4. Teachers here don’t have a set schedule like 8:00-3:00. School here starts at 8:00 and ends at 2:30, but the teachers only come for their classroom hours and their meetings. A teacher technically still works 40 hours a week, but only 25 hours are in the classroom (from what I understand) and the rest are “monitor hours” and planning hours, some of which you can do from home (AKA leave/come to work early)!
5. There are no substitute teachers but there are “Monitor hours.” In their free hours many teachers are actually “de guardia” which means that they have to patrol the hallways and bathrooms etc. making sure students are where they should be and that there aren’t any problems. It is also these teachers that act as the substitute teacher when a colleague is absent. They hate this because it cuts in to their free time.
6. On average, banks are open from 9:00-2:00. They aren’t open on Saturdays. My question is: when do people go?
7. People use a special magic to train their dogs. Countless people walk their dogs without a leash through busy city streets, and many even enter in stores or restaurants while their dog sits patiently outside waiting for their owner.
8. Seville starts to get unbearably hot in May. Sometime even earlier. It stays this way until almost October. Yet pools open in mid June or early July and close in September. Torture?
9. Spanish teenagers love listening to music on their cell phones, but they haven’t quite caught on to using headphones. Instead, they use their phones like a modern boom box and blast their songs while walking down the street, usually with a few friends. Sometimes they decide to be extra obnoxious and do this in the bus or train. The worst is the “I’m so cool” look they have while they listen… it makes me cringe every time!
10. Tracksuits. Do you know what they are? I never really know the word for them either (this is supposedly British English) but they are the clothing of choice in Carmona.
These aren’t worn only for sports!