A reception given to the Fulbrighters by the government of Navarra

Don’t let the previous post fool you. While I did prance around beautiful plazas and green spaces, most of my Pamplona time was spent indoors. Fulbright’s mid-year seminar was the reason we had traveled north (or south, or west…).

Paula’s presentation entitled “A Professional Development Initiative for the Bilingual Education Teaching Asssistants Program”

Indeed, there was a lot more going on in Pamplona last weekend than coffee-taking and paseo-giving. So what were you doing at your mid-year conference, my co-teachers wanted to know. Well, for starters, I was in various small groups, discussing the successes and not-quite-successes that come with being a TA. One of my groups was for those who are in “new” schools–new as in it is the first year they have had teaching assistants. Later there was a group discussion moderated by TAs from Madrid, Valencia, Cantabria, and Andorra.

Mars rovers, medieval Catalan cartography, and the Spanish health care system were also in the mix. Since there are Fulbright grants in Spain for researchers, visiting professors, and MBA students (not to mention TAs!), this weekend gave us all a chance to hear from other branches of the grant. It also provided time to meet new grantees and reconnect with TAs I hadn’t seen since September. In between sessions, there were plenty of receptions and formal events, including dinners, a violin concert, and a warm welcome by the mayor of Pamplona.

Hotel dining. Here we’ve got George, George’s waitress, George’s sister, and George’s fellow TA, Noel.

Looking through the upcoming program on the train to Pamplona, I was reminded of how lucky I am to be here and to have this job. I am grateful for it every schoolday (and every other day, as well).