In just one week the first Germany for Educators cohort will depart from Toronto, headed for southern Germany. This adventurous cohort consists of three Buffalo State students – Brittany, Art Education; Rachel, Art Education; and Taylor, Exceptional Education – as well as three Kenmore-Tonawanda teachers, Diane, Jane, and Shirley.
Program coordinators – John and Tamara – have worked closely with our German co-coordinators to design a schedule of activities that deepen our participants’ understanding of German school systems and classroom experiences, examine the historical and contemporary energy of the local sites and societies, and allow each of them time to explore activities that touch their personal interests. Their experiences will mirror one another in many ways, but will also be rich with differences as each engages different classrooms and communities.
Throughout the 2-week program, participants will be living with teachers from towns and cities surrounding Stuttgart, Germany. Each will visit the schools where their individual hosts work, and spend significant time observing German students as well as engaging them with books and stories about life in the United States.
We will also be provided opportunities to visit our host institution in Nürtingen, where we will attend seminars and learn about German pedagogical models and what it takes to become a teacher in Germany.
Outside of the classroom our schedule includes visits to medieval castles, historical towns, and art galleries as well as a trek through the Black Forest, a walking tour centered on the work of Rudolf Steiner (father to Waldorf education), and even a boat ride and trip to the ballet! Finally, we will conclude our trip as a cohort with a weekend in Berlin, where John (who has led group visits to Germany for many years, and with many high school students) will make sure we work off all the Wurst, Spätzle, and chocolate by facilitating walking tours of famous sites throughout the city.
So…stay tuned to revel in our experiences, reflections, and photos!! Each participant will post here throughout July. We hope you visit often.
And please, comment as you peruse our blogs so we know you’re reading!