I'm 22 years old and come from the City of Liverpool in the Northwest of England. I have recently graduated from the University of Liverpool with a degree in French and Hispanic studies. In September, I moved to Madrid to work as an English Language Assistant, and am currently living in the town of Moralzarzal with my partner.
My expectations before starting the programme
Although this is my first time working as a language assistant in Spain, it is not my first time living in the country. During my university studies, I took part in an Erasmus exchange which gave me the opportunity to live and study in the City of Alicante. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience, thus Returning to Spain to become a language assistant seemed like a no-brainer, allowing me to combine my love of language and my newly-found love of teaching. I must admit that before starting I was rather skeptical given my lack of experience, but upon receiving my school
allocation and speaking to my Bilingual Coordinator as well as other members of staff, I was
able to feel more confident about my position in the school.
Despite the current circumstances and the many challenges I have faced over the past few months, working in my school have been extremely enjoyable, and I hope that you will be able to see by reading my portfolio how invaluable this experience has been for me.
Hi, I'm Ellis. Nice to meet you!
Welcome to my portfolio!
CEIP María de Maeztu
CEIP María de Maeztu is located in the quaint town of Cerceda in the mountainous Sierra region of Madrid. Having started working as a language assistant in the school in October, I feel very fortunate to be have been placed there alongside two other British assistants.
Established after it separated from CEIPSO San Sebastián in the 2018/2019
academic year, the school is rather modern. During its transformation into this independent establishment, CEIP María de Maeztu also became bilingual, teaching all subjects except Maths and Spanish Language in English. This bilingualism has provided me with the opportunity to teach a large variety of subjects, from Natural Science to Physical Education. Because of this, as well as the fact that my fellow language assistants and I teach in all year groups, I always feel intellectually stimulated and no day is ever the same!
My prepared classes
I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity to on occasion lead my own classes
in the school. I have particularly enjoyed teaching phonetics in some of the English classes, which have allowed me to essentially become an ambassador of Anglophone cultures, preparing fun games and activities that aimed to only improve the student's pronunciation but also their cultural awareness.
In the image to the right shows an exercise from one of these classes.
I teach the students of 5°B about the hard and soft pronunciations of 〈g〉 using well-known English tongue twisters, in a "tongue-twister challenge".
This was very engaging for the students, as well as a lot of fun!
Entrance of CEIP María de Maeztu
Teaching phonetics in year 5°B with a tongue
The challenge was shared to the Childnren's parents on the school facebook page. You can find a link to this, page, as well as the school website, on the COMMENTS section of this website.
My Teaching Philosophy
My Goals and expectations
My principal objective when teaching is to ensure that all students are able to contribute their own ideas without fear of judgment or failure. As teachers, I believe it is our duty to create a welcoming classroom environment for our students, no matter their background or ability in the subjects they study. I believe that in creating such an environment, teachers shape a classroom where all students are able to feel part of a collective group of learners who can work, learn, and develop together rather than as individuals.
Learning for life - not for exams
In order to make this a possibility, I believe that as teachers we should encourage the idea of learning for life, rather than just for exams. Although exams play an immensely important role in a student's academic development, I do not believe that perfect grades should be perceived as the sole end-goal of education. This is because, in my view, this leads to an obsession over grades in the classroom, creating an unnecessary academic separation fostered by students' individual abilities. I believe we must not highlight students' successes and failures, but instead, encourage them to discover their strengths and weaknesses for themselves. By promoting this idea of learning for life we allow students to truly value their subjects, enabling them to not merely perceive their classes as exam-practice, but as interesting and exciting places of discussion; an environment where they can reach their full potential without the continuous worry of failure.
An adpataion of the general cirriculum
In the few months I have been teaching I have learned that it is beneficial to stray away from the traditional curriculum if necessary. As teachers, I believe that we must focus on the needs of our students rather than the requirements of the curriculum we are following. A generalized curriculum will never be appropriate for all children because they are all of the different abilities, they learn in different ways and enjoy different things. I believe that this academic distinctness should not be suppressed through a curriculum, but celebrated, as it incites students to share their unique approaches to
learning, creating a vibrant classroom atmosphere of that encourages intellectual diversity.
Explaining 〈ch〉 words in 5°A whilst talking about Liverpool and its famous Churches.
In these uncertain times, the role of teachers has changed drastically. Now more than ever, teachers must become creative, using alternative resources to create a safe working environment for their students, whether this be in the classroom or through digital resources. In the video below, I will talk about my approach to this new normal, as well as discuss my experiences using my prepared resources in the classroom. The resources I reference in the video will also be discussed further depth in my final project, the link for which can be found at the bottom of this page.