Working as an English teaching assistant has been my main role throughout the DPS year. The role itself has taken up a large amount of my time, but this was expected when applying. I’ve been able to use the free time in-between work to complete self-initiated projects (SIP).
Every day in school is different, I teach English, science and drama to students aged 5 to 11 years. I find each day extremely rewarding but obviously some more than others. e.g. taking students on visits to the local ceramic school is a lot of fun compared to invigilating an exam. Overall, it’s been a very exciting and beneficial experience, I’m now much more confident when speaking and presenting to large groups and my communication skills have improved both in English and now Spanish.
Everything else that comes with this opportunity is what has really made it worthwhile. An obvious benefit is how quickly I’m getting to grips with the Spanish language. Luckily, this term, I’ve been living with a family who only speak Spanish. This has been amazing in allowing me to practice and develop a much stronger understanding of the language.
I’m learning new things every day and I’m enjoying meeting new people and experiencing a different way of life. I know it’s crucial that I continue my illustration practice and don’t get too side-tracked with everything. And It’s important that I put time aside for more self-initiated projects and continue staying an active member of the creative community.
More recently I’ve been attending a ceramics school and have been getting to grips with translating some of my illustrations into a new medium. With only two weeks under my belt its really opened my eyes to the endless ceramics I can make. As I’ve become more interested with traditional craft, such as textiles and ceramics, my eyes have been opened to a vast array of new crafters, designers, communities and consumers I had previously overlooked. At the moment its early days, but my plans are to make an array of projects experimenting with different methods of working in clay, from spinning to slab construction, of working in clay. Currently, I have two projects running alongside one another, and I aim to create homeware products such as ashtrays, vases and fruit bowls, all with their own illustrated twist in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic Spain closed all its schools and shortly after this the country went into complete lockdown. I was then advised to return to England, which is extremely disappointing, especially as I was feeling really settled within the local community. I was not only housed with a great family I also had a great circle of friends. I had also been making good progress with my ceramics and unfortunately, I’ve had to leave all of this behind. I hope return whenever possible and finish them all at a later date.
Although it’s disappointing to have to come back to England early, it has cleared up my calendar, as I’m not expected to take part in any online classes with students. Now that I have a lot more time on my hands, I’ve been able to jump into new projects which is exciting. I’ve already begun completing some larger embroidery pieces and I’m going to invest into an industrial rug tufting gun. I’m feeling excited for the weeks to come and look forward to seeing what’s in store.