It will be one month tomorrow that I came home from my Germany trip and what I can say is this trip has changed me as a person. It has made me want to travel more (I was looking up flights to Ireland on the way home), it has made me want to open up a Waldorf daycare, and it has made me open to more adventures even if they are last minute. I want to thank my host family, I never would have thought after my 2 1/2 weeks there I would be crying a few days before I leave and the day I left. I am so grateful for them, Tamara, John, and Patty for setting this up and letting me be able to grow as an individual and on a professional level, but I also want to thank everyone who donated bottles and cans to help me afford this trip.
I have noticed a lot of differences in teaching in Germany and New York. Student teachers in Germany only go for 16 hours a week and they get paid, we go Monday-Friday sometimes from 7:40-5 and we do not get paid. But the most beautiful thing I saw in Germany was the students were able to be children; they had free time and recess. They had their own responsibility to get their work done without a teacher hounding them to pay attention and stay on task. I know if I do end up becoming a teacher and not opening a daycare I will take the approaches I have seen in Germany and implement them into my classroom.
I am forever changed and grateful for this opportunity. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me and I know I will definitely be visiting Germany again. Anyone who is debating to do an IPDS trip or even a trip out of the country, I say do it. Go outside of your comfort level, it is well worth it and if you ever need someone to go with you I'm always down.
This week Amber and I taught a lesson on English and Buffalo! We first read a book to our classroom that we brought from America for them. It was about traveling to different places and embracing the unknown, because they do learn English in 1st grade they know some but Amber acted out the book while I read out loud. The students and us really had fun listening and reading this story and our host said they knew more than she told them, so we did help them with that. With the same class we also taught about buffalo and just showed them pictures of our family and even us at our hometown sport teams. They enjoyed this and was amazed with the amount of snow we get in Buffalo.
For our other English lesson we taught second graders different body parts, we did this by singing 'Head, shoulders, knees, and toes'. The students loved this! We had a fun time teaching them and going faster and faster when they could sing it by themselves. To make sure they were processing the information and comprehending it not just through the song, I would say in German "Where is your eyes" out of order of the song to see what they learned. The students did great with this. We then had them take out their English notebooks and draw a person and label their body parts.
I had a great time being in a German classroom and honestly, I could definitely live here and teach. I love the 'Guten Morgen' song they sing to the teacher, the little gong they hit to get the students focused, and the freedom the students have to just be who they are; children playing and learning at the same time. I am really going to miss Germany and the students, I'm glad Amber and I were able to take a picture with the students to give them as a little momento. Until next time Germany, I hope it won't be that long away. Chuice!
Here is a picture with our wrap up dinner at a castle. I thought I would end my blog with this because this is my 'wrap up' blog in Germany. Thank you everyone who read and commented on all my blogs and also all the people who donated cans and bottles to help me accomplish this dream. I am forever changed by this and inspired to travel some more.
I had to start off with this picture because the ice cream is seriously unbelievable.. all of us especialy Amber and I try to eat the ice cream almost every day, there are no words to explain how great it is. This ice cream in my picture was my favorite, it was a berry flavor. But since I am in Germany I must try as much German food as I can.
What I have noticed in Germany is their pretzel is like American's bagels. Also their pretzels are not like the ones you get at the mall but they are also so splendid. My host got me one that was sliced down the middle with butter on it and it was amazing. Another food that I have had the pleasure of eating was sausage. I don't normally like sausage in America but I enjoy the sausage they have here even with curry on it.
The drinks are also very different as well, my favorite is ice coffee because instead of ice they put ice cream in it and it is amazing! Germans also mix their juices/pop/bier into wonderful mixes you wouldn't think would be good. My favorite was when I was with my family in Munich, they had me try a bier with half lemonade... it was so good! Another mix is bier and banana juice, who would have thought juice and bier mixed together would be so good. One last thing I have notice is they have pop bottles that will be mixed together with orange pop and pepsi mixed together.
So now I just want to talk a little about the culture diffence I have noticed. One of my favorite is that Germans are more free and accepting of the human body. For example, when I went to the thermal baths there was a section that men and women have to be naked. But not just that, you see little girls with just bathing suit bottoms on and no top. I have seen many people who get yelled at because they post a naked picture of their baby in a bath tub... and here it is not a big deal to see a little kid naked playing on the playground. I love this because I don't see a big deal in the human body, like when women want to breast feed their babies in public. I hate that people make something so innocent such a huge deal.
I could definitely live in Germany and fall in love with something new everyday. I love sitting outside and seeing a hedgehog come out of a bush, the beautiful clouds, or just walking around looking at their houses. It is so beautiful and breathtaking, I will for sure be coming back and bringing the drindl I bought back with me.
Munich was one of the parts of the trip I was really looking forward to. I was able to meet my German family members that I have never met before through my oma. I was very nervous before I saw them but then I felt like I belonged there.