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Belén tells us about her experience as a teacher in Dallas, Texas:

Name Belen Casale
Age: 25 years
Occupation: Spanish Teacher at High School
Destination: Dallas Texas
Company and position where you work: l W H Adamson High School

-We would like to know how you are and how you feel, as a participant of the Teachers program in the USA
I feel good now, although I must say that at first it was a bit hard because it was difficult for me to find references within the school to explain the work I had to do (especially the planning part and other administrative issues.
This semester I'm doing better. I found my mentor at school and he guided me to everything new since the educational system is very different from that of Argentina.
Each school is a world and has its rules. The exams, the periods, the system of taking attendance to qualify. I had to ask everything and look for the solutions to each thing. In addition, they speak everything in acronyms, so it is difficult to understand what they are talking about at first. It is a great learning effort. In general the system and administration is totally different.

-What was the experience for you?
Regarding the classes I feel good. It was an important change in terms of the workload that I have to fulfill in the same school. Because here in Texas, USA there are 8 hours per day of classes. The other teachers also have 8 or 9 hours per day.
I have 140 students, which is an important number. This too was a big change.
I am teaching Language and Culture and Literature. I teach everything in Spanish, because it is for the level advanced. There are some students who don't speak as much Spanish, but she has to speak with them as with her students in Argentina. One student said that it was difficult for him to understand the Argentine accent.

- Is the work as you imagined it?
Before going I had no idea, I had no idea. Stay tired. He arrives home at 5 pm, between 8:40 and leaves 445 and lives 4 blocks from the school. She didn't have to buy a car or anything, sometimes co-workers take her.
She arrives home at 5 but is very tired and takes a nap.

-How is the work environment? How is the relationship with other co-workers?
The work environment is very good. Most of the teachers are friendly, the campus is very big, it has two buildings and I don't know anyone from the other building. The teachers are friendly, the students are not disrespectful. It is a friendly environment, in general I feel very comfortable.

Lunch is also a different topic (the cultural difference is noticeable) In general, I take the food with me. I was surprised that in the school there are many teachers or students who do not eat anything directly. They have half an hour for lunch, and they rest or read or continue working on plans. At first I didn't have food but there is nowhere to buy. So every day I take my food and heat it in a microwave. Many eat in their classrooms, but I like to go to the teachers' room on the floor, which is very comfortable because it has everything, refrigerator, microwave, crockery, or I go to the library. I also take the opportunity to socialize.

-What were the best things about your job? And the worst?
What I like the most is the relationship with the students. I connect very well with teenagers. I feel that they are part of my generation and at the same time adolescents have a more developed critical thinking. I really like the environment with teenagers.
I have a different activity every day. There are days that he gives 6 clock hours of classes and other days he gives 4 and a half hours of classes and then planning.
At first I planned alone, on my computer with Word. And then I found out that it had to be uploaded and I received help and models to imitate. Now every week I have to upload the plans.

-What do you do on your days off?
On weekends I organize programs. The sponsor asks me to do two cultural activities a month, and I really enjoy those outings. I get together with other Latinos who are in the same program or with classmates and we go to a local festival or fair, to a museum or just to the park. We go out for a walk and then we all go to snack on something together.

For Thanksgiving, each one brought something typical of their country, and I brought pancakes with dulce de leche and they loved it. I don't like to cook, and I couldn't get the Dulce de leche either (I buy something similar). But they were a complete success.
I usually cook veggie burgers, pies, now I'm a vegetarian.

How is the housing?
It is an apartment 4 blocks from the school. I looked for him from Argentina, I requested an appointment for 3 tours, when he arrived he went to do the tours and the value in general seemed very high. I decided on this one because of its proximity to the school (I don't need a car) and because it has amenities. It is also the cheapest of the three that you visit. It is a studio apartment and has everything I need.

-What surprised you the most?
What surprised him most is the weather, that it is snowing. We have a conception that Texas is the desert and it's hot. I was surprised by the city and that there is a great variety of things, businesses and services.
Dallas seemed huge and super cute. And on the same day there is a lot of thermal amplitude.

What would you recommend to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
I would recommend above all that you cheer up, that the program is fun and that you are not afraid to do it alone. I love talking to people and many are interested in knowing about me, when I arrive, even when I stay, they were surprised because I am alone here and I did not come with my family. They tell me that I am very brave