Thanks to Fernando, the assistant director at our school, we were able to organize an all-day excursion this week to another school and a nursing home. This school is a private school for children ages 3 (and some younger for day care) to 18, and once again we were impressed with the level of academics as well as the behavior of the children. We were able to visit classes at every level and observe many of the projects the children were working on, including making “fallas” in an art class for the upcoming festival. We particularly enjoyed hearing children in an English class recite poems they had written that were quite funny, tough to do in a second language! Children attend classes from 9 until 5, and have regular homework from the primary grades on up. Of course, we realized that this private school had many advantages unavailable to children in the public schools; the disparity here is not unlike that found in U.S. schools.
After lunch in the teacher’s cafeteria, the two school psychologists who showed us around also escorted us to a nearby nursing home. Since those older adults who are functioning relatively well live with or near their families in Spain, the residents of this home were by and large incapacitated by Alzheimer’s and other serious health problems. The students particularly enjoyed seeing the farm animals on the property; apparently the residents are responsible for feeding and caring for the animals as part of their therapy.
As with the previous school, I’m not including any pictures in which children can be identified, nor any photos of the “ancianos” at the nursing home (I’m feeling pretty anciana myself!). I’m also including a few photos from Spanish class as we wind down the quarter.