In October 2017, Tuuli Tomson (educational technologist) and Triin Lingiene (teacher of English) travelled to Spain in order to go on a structured educational visit for teachers and school leaders. The mobility activities in Málaga were carried out under the guidance of English Matters.
Our eventful programme included visits to three schools – IES Bezmiliana, IES Fuengirola No 1 and Salesianos Málaga – CDP “San Bartolome” – each demonstrating their best practices. While the two former schools were typical state-owned institutions, the latter was a Catholic private school, partly supported by the government. We attended various classes, conversed with the local teaching staff, and shared our ideas together. One thing we noticed was this special togetherness between the teachers and the students, a relaxed atmosphere and very effective support to those in need. We were told that students’ well-being and safety was the schools’ top priority.
As for some differences we noticed when comparing the Estonian and Spanish educational systems, their culture plays a considerably greater role at school. Another variety that struck us was related to the autonomy Spanish regions have in terms of their curricula. For example, the educational system of Andalusia is rather original. In the end, though, we – the teachers – are all the same, and we all are worried about the future of our profession, continuous change and high demands imposed on us.
To conclude, our days were filled with sunshine, beautiful nature and rich culture. Along the way, we visited the museum of Picasso, learned about Federico Garcia Lorca, enjoyed Alhambra, a spectaculous palace and fortress complex located in Granada, and we surely couldn’t leave Málaga without exploring the fortress palace Alcazaba and the ruins of the Ancient Roman Amphitheatre …