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October 2009 Archives

October 8, 2009

Heather -Preparation/Host Family & School Contact

The time is drawing closer to my international student teaching experience in Dublin, Ireland! My plane ticket is set so that is very comforting to know! I have recentely found out that I will be student teaching at Rathdown Junior School in Glenagery, just south of Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. I contacted the principal, Avril Lamplugh, to introduce myself and ask her the most important questions regarding dress code, travel to school, and placement. She sent me a friendly reply letting me know that I would need to dress nicely, but make sure I didn't wear jeans to school. She also let me know that most of the teachers travel to school on foot once getting off the DART(Dublin Area Rapid Transport). In addition, she notified me that as time got closer, she would let me know what grade I will be teaching.

In addition, I was able to contact my host family by email. I will be staying with Kathy and James Malseed while I am in Ireland. They live in Shankill, which is a residential suburb of Dublin. I was notified that they live near the sea and not too far from the Wicklow Mountains. I was also notified that they are only a 40 minute train ride into Dublin City Centre. I was glad to hear that they are less than ten minutes away from the local train station, which I will be traveling to each morning.

James and Kathy are both primary school teachers and they work in the Kill o the Grange National school, which is about a 15 minute drive away from the house. I have learned that James and Kathy have two daughters who are in secondary school at Newpark Comprehensive School. Karyn is 17 years old and in her final year at school and Alyson is 14 and in her 3rd year. Alyson loves sports and plays on the school hockey team, whereas Karyn is interested in music and is excited about learning to drive.

Kathy and James seem to be very nice, compassionate people according to their emails. I found out that they will have a computer I can use while I am there so I plan on leaving my laptop at home in the US. Kathy and James also told me that they would try to show me some of the cool sights in Dublin, Ireland!

When I arrive in Ireland Nov. 2nd, James made me aware that I will need to take an air coach, which will be located right outside the airport, from Dublin airport to Shankill. James told me that he would be picking me up at Bewley's Hotel in Sandyford. He told me that he would send me more specific details nearer my arrival date concerning what to catch and how!

The idea of Ireland has been a dream for these past couple of months, but as time draws nearer, it is becoming more of a reality now. I am slowly moving my stuff from Boone to my hometown during the weekends so that I will be able to move out of my apartment right before I leave for Ireland. I am working extremely hard trying to get my student teaching assignments completed here in Boone, NC at Hardin Park School. I have had a phenomenal student teaching experience thus far, and I know my experience will only get better as I head to Ireland Sunday Nov. 1st, 2009! :-)

October 9, 2009

Jerry-Preparations and Contacts

My time at Durham School of the Arts has been just about as ideal as I could have asked for and I will certainly miss my cooperating teacher, my students, and my host family.

However, I am more than ready to arrive in Nicoya, Costa Rica on October 31st. Not only have I bought my plane ticket for my arrival into Costa Rica, but the ticket is also a one way ticket! This is probably one of the most exciting points in my life and I feel more than blessed to be provided with the opportunities in my life so far.

In terms of preparation I have been reading up on Costa Rica and its culture, along with interacting with other who have either spent time over there traveling or living. Most of my supplies are gathered up for my stay there and I only have a few more purchases to make. As for the teaching aspect, I will be meeting with my art education adviser to prepare to make resourceful, engaging, and relevant art project for the students of Nicoya. I'm trying to go down there with as many materials, ideas, and resources as possible.

As for contacting my host family, as far as I know, I won't be able to do so until I arrive in Nicoya on October 31st.

Brett Houghton-Preparation

I was able to speak with my family through E-mail. I am going to be staying with the Guy family. They have three kids, Jessica who is 21, Rachel who is 19, and Alfie who is 14 years old. They have two Springer Spaniels. They have a big trampoline in their garden out back. Their house is in between the dart stop and the round about.

I am going to be teaching at Killiney/Glenageary national school which is fifteen minute walk up hill from the house. I am about 20 minutes from downtown Dublin. The family i am staying with enjoys sailing, fishing, rugby, hiking and walking so i should fit in well. From what I understand I am going to be helping out all teachers at the school with PE. It sounds like they do not have a PE class at the school. I am looking foward to the adventures and cannot wait.

Ericka Griffin - Preparation and Country Contacts

I am three weeks away from being in Dublin, Ireland. Even though it is going to be hard parting from my students at Holly Springs High School, I am really excited about teaching in at Johnstown Boys National School (an elementary school in Killiney, Dublin). I have never observed nor taught in an elementary school before, so I am very delighted about having this opportunity. I have contacted the principal, Mr. Cadogan, and am waiting for a response.

However, I have contacted my family, and Mrs. McBain has responded to my e-mail. Before composing my e-mail, I wrote a lengthy page of questions. Concerns regarded everything from my arrival arrangements, to living arrangements, to the location of my assigned school.

I was truly happy when Mrs. McBain contacted me; the connection made the trip all the more real and exciting. She was kind enough to inform me of the available resources that I will be able to use, such as a hair-dryer, a flat iron, wireless internet and a cell phone. I had shared with her information about my family here, in Cary, N.C., and she responded about her family. Her family consists of her husband, Stuart, and two children: Cameron, a 16 year-old boy, and Juliette, a 12 year-old girl. I am thrilled to know that I have a family with adolescent siblings.

Not only was I informed about the family, but Mrs. McBain also informed me about the town (Shankill, Dublin) she lives in. Shankill, which is on the coast, is approximately 40 minutes away (by train) from Dublin’s center. She is very kind and generous, and she has offered to drive me to school in the morning. She advised which bus to take once I arrive at the airport, and she even gave me the website of the luxury bus. Lastly, she told me that there is an ATM cash machine that is in the village (within walking distance).

In terms of preparation, I have been checking out as many books as I can at the local library on Dublin and Ireland in order to have a better understanding about the country’s history and culture. I have been to my school’s website, but it has not been updated since the 2007-2008 school year. I have also browsed websites online, in order to acquire knowledge about traveling resources, such as the DART, and the Paddy Wagon.

Overall, I am truly happy about my placements in both the school and family. I cannot wait to finally meet my family, to meet the students at Johnstown Boys National School, and to get to experience life in Dublin. I also feel that I have done an adequate amount of research, in order to feel content and comfortable in the country.

October 11, 2009

Dana Smith - Preparation

I have contacted my host family sent them pictures of me and my family and have found out quiet a bit about them. They live 40 minutes from Dublin and a 15 minute walk from Greystones where I will be student teaching.

Muriel is the person I am making contact with. There are 5 in the family, Alistair is her husband and 3 children, Kenneth 22, Alyson 19 and Alexander 15. Kenneth and Alyson are both in college at University College Dublin. Alexander is in France doing an abroad program and will return at the end of November. Alistair, Kenneth and Alyson work at a sailing school on the coast.

They have given me information on transportation like the Paddy Wagon to visit all over Ireland and also Ryanair an airline company that you can get flights including everything sometimes for 20€ to most places in Europe for weekend trips. They have given me a phone number to call them on and email addresses to contact the family.

I have also contacted the school and principal I will be with. I gave them information about me and only thing she said back was thanks for contacting us and they are looking forward to having me with them and sharing skills. Catherine Sadlier is the principal.

October 13, 2009

Dani - Preparation & Contacts

I am just three weeks shy of being in Nicoya, Costa Rica!! I have had an incredible experience with the second grade class at Startown Elementary and it will be difficult to leave them, but I am very much looking forward to working with the students at San Ambrosio School. There I will be working with Pre-K to 2nd grade students.

I have been immersed in Hispanic cultures before, but never in a school type setting. I don't believe I will experience as much culture shock, because in my past experiences I have had more trouble with the reverse culture shock. Having contacted Karla, she has explained a bit how the school works in Nicoya. She has told me that schools there have an open air infrastructure and there are three recesses throughout the day. There is also 45 minutes given for lunch. Karla explained that the children there are a little more wild than those in the United States. After having been with students in the States she was in shock, saying our students 'were like little soldiers' compared to hers.

Karla has also explained that she sees how our curriculum in the States is mainly focused on reading and wishes her students could read like the students here. In Costa Rica not every classroom has its own mini library, like classrooms in the States. It has been hard for her to try and build up a Library at San Ambrosio and emphasize the importance of students' reading abilities, but she says she is not giving up yet!

Karla is an English teacher at San Ambrosio. She is 43 years old and has a son, Jose Maria, who is 23 and will be a doctor in 6 months. She lives on her own, and I am very much looking forward to experiencing her way of life! She loves drinking coffee and has promised to take me to get some good coffee while I am there.

She has told me that here are many pretty beaches, national parks and wildlife refuges in the area, so you will have a lot of places to visit and enjoy while I am there. The weather right now is hot and humid in Nicoya and they are coming to the end of the rainy season. The language, culture and traditions are different from what I am used to, but I am excited about the experience ahead of me!

To better prepare myself for my travels, I have been using my travel guides on Costa Rica, looking up places to go and things to see. I have also been able to find some internet resources that explain some about the culture and traditions of the people. On November 12, the people of Nicoya celebrate Pica de Leña which is the fiesta of wood cutting. It is one of the most colorful ceremonies in Nicoya. I am very excited that I will be in Nicoya for this fiesta!

Overall, I am very pleased with my placements at San Ambrosio and with Karla. I am looking forward to meeting Karla, the teachers at the school, and the children in Nicoya. I am ready to expand on my Spanish speaking skills and blend in as much as I can!

October 27, 2009

Maria Jarrell-- 3 Days and Counting...

Hello all! It is so hard to believe that I am almost finished with my student teaching here in the states, and will soon be on a plane headed to Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico! It still seems like a distant dream that any of this is going to happen in the next few days, but I am more excited than I could ever express. Although getting all of the information about my school and host family has been a slow process, that has just made life that much more exciting for me over the past few weeks. It has also helped me to begin to get into the mode of functioning on "Mexico Time"- when it happens, it happens.

While in Guadalajara, I will be working in a 1st grade classroom at The American School (www.asfg.mx), a state of the art private school which offers instruction for Pre-school through 12th grade. ASFG is also accredited in both Mexico and the US. My cooperating teacher is Miss Ivette. She has been working at the school for 17 years and I know I will learn much from her.

I have also been in contact with my host family, Antonio and Lucrecia Jauregui. Their children no longer live at home. When I spoke with them on the phone, they sounded very excited to have someone coming to stay with them for awhile. I think it is going to be lots of fun to get to know this wonderful family, their friends, their community, and their way of life.

Since I double majored in Spanish, I have really enjoyed reading about Guadalajara, and can't wait to explore the area and learn about its history as I ride the city bus to school each day and venture around the city in my free time.

Next time I write I will be in the birthplace of mariachi music and the home of hot and spicy mexican food... I hope you'll join me as I journey there and back again!

Hasta luego!

About October 2009

This page contains all entries posted to International Student Teaching Fall 2009 in October 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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