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First day and ice already broken

broken-sea-iceWell, today it was our first day so I had the chance to welcome the group of students I’ll be teaching this year in 4th ESO(UK Year 11/US Grade 10): wow, I’m exhausted!!! I’ve known them for a long time, some of them have been with me for three years now and they do not seem to have grown too mature during this time. ‘Though most of them are 15 and over, they’re still too noisy and..well, I guess playful is the word.

One of my colleagues asked me if I didn’t think posting this was risky, as most of them know where to find my site…well, if they were able to read and actually understand this post, I’d be so happy that nothing could spoil that moment of perfect bliss!! LOL

However, that was not the problem.Whenever you search for activities for the first week of your school year, most of them seem to be icebreakers for satudents who don’t know each other or who haven’t met their teacher before. As you may guess, with this particular group, that is not the case. So, what to do the very first day? Calling the register and greeting them back, 5 minutes.Telling them about the novel we’ll be reading or their assessment criteria, 5 more minutes… and then what?

This is what I came up with. I hope it gives you some inspiration!

Download worksheet

Back to school

After long and lovely summer holidays, we’re back to work. In Spain teachers start on the first working day of September (this year it was actually September the 2nd), but students start their lessons in about one week and a half.

We’ve had lots of work to do these days: long meetings, choosing our levels (that’s not always easy as it depends on our seniority within the Department, and most of the time there are conflicts, because it’s an important choice that’s going to  affect your whole working year…) and once we know the levels, waiting for our work timetable. After all this pressure, we finally know which groups we will be teaching and the exact periods when this teaching will take place. So now real preparation work may begin.

Just for the record,in the Canaries we have 20 teaching period per week (55 minutes each) and on the whole we have 26 working periods on school premises. However we are expected to do a grand total of 37 and a half hours a week, which include attending to afternoon meeting with parents or with the rest of the staff, assessment meetings, and also materials and exams preparation and correction hours at home.

If you want more information on the comparative among European teachers’ working hours, you may find it here. I think it’s pretty interesting to have a look at the graphics…BACKTOSCHOOL

This site’s name…

Well, I’ve thought my first post should be devoted to explain some things about this site, and the first one is probably the name!! When I still updated my previous website (, many people asked me what the name meant, and not only English-speaking visitors but also Spanish-speaking ones.

The word “rebumbio” means, according to the Royal Academy of Spanish Language, “ruido retumbante“, that is ‘booming noise‘. However it is not a common word in the Spanish mainland,but it is  in the Canary Islands, where we speak  quite differently  from Castillian Spanish.

I chose that name because I wanted my website to be a “noisy” one, somewhere where I could mix loads of different stuff aimed at helping students to communicate in English.So it became “El Rebumbio” de Sara Martín. But after some time, when I decided to design a new site for my students, I wanted something easier for them to remember.

I’ve always found  the way students refer to their teachers really  amazing. They might not address  me as Sara, ‘though many of them do, but call me “seño” (abbreviation  of  traditional “señorita”, which is used for female teachers, although it actually means “Miss”…) so despite having been married for a long time,  I am doomed, like all female teachers in the Canaries, to be addressed by my students as an eternal spinster!!! 😉

But that’s only when talking TO me. However, when talking ABOUT me 99% of  students refer to me as “Sara la de inglés“, that’s  “Sara,the one who teaches English“…and they even ask other teachers where “saraladeinglés” is, as if it were my complete name and surname. And if you can’t beat them…at least they’ll remember your site!

So this is the long story of why this site is called “”. And if you are a teacher in the Canaries, think about it…you are probably known as “pepeeldehistoria” or “luisaladematemáticas”… :mrgreen: