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Teaching High School Outside of Madrid

My name is Ian Paratore and I am a Language Assistant at IES Rosa Chacel in a town outside of Madrid called Colmenar Viejo. My school is far from the city center, but I love the teachers I work with in the English department, the students show genuine interest in learning, and I am allowed enough freedom to explore curriculum I find to be interesting a useful for the next generation of English speakers. I am teaching primero de eso all the way up to segundo IB, and even lead a conversation class for teachers. Working with all levels has really helped to round me out as a teacher. I think I get something different from each age group. 


I was born in San Francisco, went to UC Berkeley, and lived in a few different cities around the US before making the leap to Spain in January 2019. I have experienced lots of educational settings, public and private, big and small, and have loved my time seeing a different education system and culture here in Madrid. I wanted to make a trip to Spain during college, but the logistics were stacked against me; or that’s what I tell myself. I knew that when I had just a small urge to take the plunge in late 2018 that I better not waste it. 


Recently, I have begun pursuing a career as an Artist, and this has been a great introduction to life as an entrepreneur. I have learned so much throughout the process of setting up my own business. I wanted to help students learn valuable, real-world skills while practicing English. As someone interested in the Arts, all kinds of sports, and starting a business, I aim to keep the topics I cover as relevant as I can for my students. I find the fact that I can teach all kinds of skills while teaching English to be doubly beneficial. 


In college, I studied Renewable Energy and Education. Since leaving, most of my jobs have been in Education. I have worked in schools, summer camps, athletic programs as a baseball and basketball coach, and at a large Education corporation. My experience in Education drives me to pursue new activities and structures to keep my students engaged. For example, this year I have implemented an activity called: WOW. Or, “Word Of the Week.” Every week, students add one sentence to a story they are writing using a new vocabulary word I write on the board at the beginning of class. Some weeks the word is silly and fun, like ¨flabbergasted¨, and other weeks, the word is more practical, like ̈compromise¨. The array of words can make it hard for students to sensically connect their story, but that's part of the fun!


A few other activities I have designed during my time at IES Rosa Chacel:

  • Acronyms test: Anything from TMI to FAQ

  • Mad Libs activities from current news articles

  • Categorizing the internet’s lists of practical skills

  • Thanksgiving Trivia

  • Meme-caption writing presentation

  • Famous crimes presentation

  • Strangest laws in the world presentation

  • Energy sources presentation (a case for local consumption)

  • Idioms activity


Happy to chat more about these activities, education, Spain, or traveling. Just email me!

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