When I first arrived home, I had to try to get adjusted as soon as possible because I had to go back to my normal routine. Driving for the first time since being home was something I needed to get used to again. I definitely miss taking the subway and the train everywhere! I also kept slipping some German words into my daily conversations. When you hear the German language every day for two weeks, it is hard to let go of. As difficult as that language was to understand, I am going to miss hearing it every day.
Living with a host and teaching in a German school helped me grow as a future educator and as an individual and were the two most important parts of this trip for me. I emailed my host a few times before going to Germany, but I was still extremely nervous to meet her for the first time and stay in her home for two weeks. I live at home and commute to school every day, so I have never really had the chance to live on my own before. There is no better way to become more independent than to live on your own/with a host in a different country! She showed me what it is like to live in an apartment in your 20s in Germany; what they ate every day, how they spent their afternoons/nights, and she showed me that we were not so different. I miss my host dearly and she made me feel so welcome in Germany. Not only did I become independent by living with her, I was also able to take the trains everywhere and explore the city on my own. I never thought I was going to be able to do this, but I am so proud that I did. I truly stepped out of my comfort zone on this trip and I am so different from the shy and nervous girl who left for Germany in June. Germany changed me for the better and I am so happy and proud of the person I have become.
Teaching in a German school was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I sat in on almost every subject taught in my host’s school, and I am so blessed to have had that opportunity. I was able to see multiple different teaching styles from all of the teachers at that school and I have learned new management skills that I cannot wait to try in my own classroom. I have also learned so many incredible ways to teach students English. As I have said in my previous blogs, I had the chance to feel what it is like to be an ELL in a general classroom. After experiencing this, I want to make sure all of my students feel included and have an equal opportunity to succeed. I learned many new ways to teach English to ELL’s that I am going to practice and try out in my future classroom.
Studying and teaching abroad is an opportunity that I think every student should experience. I am so blessed and thankful to have had this experience and I have grown so much during my three weeks in Europe. I just want to thank every single person that helped me go on this adventure, and I cannot wait to see where I go next. Thank you all for following my blog during this once in a lifetime adventure.
Until next time,