How Things are Going!

                I can’t believe I have been working at The Royal Wolverhampton School (RWS) for three weeks already! Sorry I haven’t updated this, it is just a pain because they internet is pretty slow and I seem to be busy all the time! I tried posting a week ago with a picture and that seemed to crazy my whole blog, so unfortunately, I don’t know if I’ll be able to post too many pictures! But anyways, onto the actual update!

                RWS is a great school. It is a private school that starts at nursery and goes all the way up to Year 13 (senior in high school). I am student teaching in a Year 3 class which is the equivalent to second grade. Our class only has 15 students and there is a main teach, myself, and a classroom aid! The fact that we have 1 teach for every 5 students is amazing! The assistant pulls students out every day to listen to them read and work on comprehension and when I’m not teaching, I assistant students at their desks or even pull them out to work on individual skills.  

                One aspect of the school that I love is that there are so many after school activities for the students to participate in. I have never seen an elementary school that offered multiple activities until 5pm. The activities are run by the teachers, so I am involved in Football (soccer), Choir, Orchestra, and Table Tennis. Another amazing part of the elementary school is the classes that the students take! By Year 3, the students have already had French for two years I believe, and they are starting Mandarin. They also have gym for 2 hours once a week, and swimming for 1.5 hours!

                For my next update, I’ll try to get somewhere with better internet so I can post a picture or two! I will also try to update sooner this time around!

 

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I Made It!

It has been a crazy few days! I left in Sunday and arrived on Monday, and today I fly to Germany! My flights all went as planned and I was even able to get a couple hours of sleep on my way to Amsterdam! Once I landed in Birmingham, I had to hop on a train and ten take a taxi to the school. The train system is actually pretty easy and in sure I will be confident enough not to ask for help in no time! I like double checking with other passengers that I’m waiting for the right train.
Right now I’m at the airport waiting for my plane to Germany. I haven’t really had a chance I take pictures since I have always been lugging around my suitcases but I did snap a quick photo of my room key! I thought it was pretty neat! Haha!

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It’s Almost Time to Leave

I can’t believe that I am leaving in 3 days…I am excited and nervous about my upcoming trip! This is going to be such a great experience for me and I can’t wait to share it with you all through my blog. The day after I land in England, I will be flying to Germany to visit my Oma and Opa! The last time I saw them was high school graduation so having a chance to see them again is great. I have all my paperwork and my bags are packed so at this point Im just waiting for Sunday to get here!

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The Struggles of Packing for Three Months Abroad

I cannot believe how soon it is until I leave for Europe! Lately, I have been working on packing my suitcases and it has been a struggle!  I am running into a number of problems including…

  1. I can only bring a checked bag and a carry on since I have to lug around all the bags by myself
  2. Since I am student teaching, I have to pack a lot of dress clothes which limits the amount of “street clothes” i have room for
  3. SHOES, SHOES, and more SHOES! I need too many shoes to go with my dress clothes.
  4. Because it is going to be cold, I have to pack a warm coat and that alone takes up too much space!
  5. Electronics….my carry on has so many electronics in it that are awkwardly shaped and take up too much space. I am bringing my “fancy” camera and that alone takes up a good third of my carry on!
  6. 50 lbs weight limit for my checked bag

I have already packed and then unpacked and taken out clothes, but I keep thinking about things I need to add! I am using the vacuum bags for my clothes, it is just the darn shoes taking up so much space! I think in the end, I will just end up paying for an extra bag on the flight home….which will cost $100! I can’t believe how expensive it is!

If anyone has an packing tips, I would love to hear them! Post your tips in the comments! 

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How to Keep in Touch

While I am in Europe, I may not be able to respond as quickly as I normally do! Luckily, with today’s technology, it will be fairly easy to keep in touch with everyone! This blog is going to be a great way to let everyone know what I am up to! I will make my normal blog posts along with pictures, and maybe some video posts as well!

Another way I would love to keep in touch with everyone is via skype! My skype account name is TheAwesomeHollands…..super creative, I know! Hopefully we will have a good connection on campus so I can skype quite often. I will be 6 hours ahead of Central time so keep that in mind!

Having an iPhone is pretty fantastic! For all you other iPhone users, I can iMessage you for free! (iMessages are the blue text messages that you send to other iPhone users) Since iMessages is actually over the internet opposed to text messaging, when I am on wifi I can “text.” I may not always be able to respond right away since I have to be on wifi to receive the texts, but it is still a great way to keep in touch!

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Why I Chose Student Teaching Abroad

As an education major, it is hard to find time to study abroad. It is difficult to finish within four years, and doing a semester abroad will probably push back graduation. When I found out that it was an option to student teach abroad, I knew that was something I wanted to do!

Luckily, I have an amazing husband that understands why I want to leave for three months and teach abroad. The main reason that I want to go abroad is for the experience in a completely different setting. How often do teachers get an opportunity to teach in a completely different country?! Student teaching at a British boarding school and then an American public school and being able to see and experience the differences in teaching styles, curriculum, and daily school life will be tremendously beneficial for my future career. Another great experience for me abroad is to be the minority. As a white, American, female, I am rarely the minority in most environments. I want to take the chance to put myself in the position of being the “outsider” and trying to see what it feels like. I know I will have students in the future who are in that same position, and having experienced it myself, I will be able to show greater empathy for those students.

As a military family, Bryan and I have to move every 3 or 4 years. As a teacher, this is extremely difficult because my Wisconsin licence is not guaranteed to be accepted in other states.  Having the experience of student teaching abroad will be a major plus on my resume and will hopefully help me to obtain a job in the future.

These are just a few of the reasons that I want to teach abroad. I am sure that there will be many other benefits that I don’t even realize at this point!

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BritRail Train Pass

On Tuesday afternoon I order my BritRail England pass. A BritRail England pass is a train ticket that works on pretty much all the trains in England. I can use it 8 times within 2 months, and once I activate it for a day, I can ride as many trains as I want until midnight! It is a pretty awesome deal compared to paying for point-to-point tickets. So this morning around 10:00 am, FedEx rings the doorbell and gives me my pass! It took less than 48 hours to get my ticket! Talk about fantastic service! It also came with a booklet on things to do in London as well as a map with the popular train stops marked. Hopefully I will be able to get some good use out of it! 

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It’s Going to Cost How Much?!

When I first saw the expected cost of my trip I could hardly keep my mouth from hanging open! The estimated cost for the semester was almost 4 times what I spend for a regular semester.  The first thought in my mind was “Bryan is going to kill me” haha :) (Bryan being my husband) When I brought home the estimate I was pleasantly surprised that Bryan was okay with it. Now I am not saying he was excited to spend possibly four times the normal price of a semester, but he knew that it would be worth it in the long run when I have future job interviews. After getting the estimate, I had to come up with a plan to be able to afford this semester. The total including program fees, tuition, room and board, food, passport/visa, and travel expenses. My plan of attack was to try for as many scholarships as I could!

I filled out numerous scholarship applications and wrote many essays and in the end it paid off! One day, I started getting emails saying I received campus scholarships as well as a study abroad grant! My big scholarship that I applied for that I was really hoping to get was the Bengamin A. Gilman Scholarship. This scholarship is for students who will be  receiving or received a pell grant when applying for the scholarship. Luckily, I fall into that category, so I was able to apply. I spent a LOT of time working on my essays and utilized my campus writing center to make sure it was the best that it could be. In the end, it paid off and I received a scholarship! I cannot put into words how excited and grateful I was when I found out.

Another excited development with student teaching was that I would be able to have all meals on campus for free, and that I would be able to live on campus for no charge in exchange of holding RA type duties! When I found that out, I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders! With my scholarships and grant, I am able to pay for my program fees and UWS tuition. Over the summer, I have been work two summer jobs to try and cover the rest of the expenses such as air fair, passport, Visa (which was a shocking $500), and other travel expenses while I am abroad. I will be gone for three months, so I need quite a bit.

Overall, I cannot complain about the cost of going abroad. Had I not tried for any scholarship, I don’t know if I would have been able to afford my trip. Thanks to the Gilman as well as the UWS scholarships, I am able to teach abroad and gain experience that I would not be able to receive in any other situation.

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WOAH…I’m Going Where?

Back in January I submitted my application to Educators Abroad to student teach in Europe. It was a daunting task since I was required to put the top three counties I would like to go to. This part was the HARDEST! It would have been much easier if I could pick the city instead of country but oh well, I managed! I ended up applying for Germany, England, and the Netherlands…in that order. On February 26th, I found out that I would be going to the Royal Wolverhampton School in Wolverhampton, England! As soon as I found out, I was on the phone with family and friends to tell them the good news.

Once I knew where I would be going, I started doing my online research. It turns out, the school is a boarding school and I had to wait for further information to find out if I would be able to live on campus! The school also offers a wide range of extra curricular activities and I hope I have the chance to help out in that area. I really want to try a little bit of everything so I can get the most of this experience as possible. Overall I am so excited to get to England and start my student teaching placement!

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Welcome to My Blog

Hello and Welcome! I wanted to start a blog for my trip student teaching in England this fall. I thought it would be a great way to let everyone know what I am up to while I am gone. I hope to post pictures, write about life in England, and who knows what else! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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