Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day 25: May 15th, 2014

Travel day! We had to get up at 2:45 to drive to Munster to catch our first flight. It was going to be a long day. Our first flight didn't leave until 6am. It was a 30 minute flight to Frankfort where we had a 7 hour layover. Our flight out of Frankfort to New York left around 1pm. So, we spent the time sleeping and just hanging out. We had to change gates once before we got on our international flight. The 8 hour flight wasn't bad. I spent the time watching movies and sleeping. A lot of time was spent doing nothing. I was so happy when we touched down in America!

Then the craziness began. We had to wait an hour in line in passport control. While standing in line we found out our flight to Nashville was canceled. So we started freaking out. After getting through passport control we figured out what we were going to do. We ended up booking a flight to Louisville the next morning. We spent the night at the airport which was a new experience for me. It was tough sleeping in chairs and on the floor but we all survived. I was glad when we finally got on the plane to Louisville. When we landed in Kentucky I was so happy to be home!

Germany was a great experience and I will never forget everything I saw and did. The student teaching was fun and learned a lot about the German school system, which will be beneficial when I start teaching in America. 

Day 24: May 14th, 2014

Last day in Germany! Today we had one class in the morning. We spent the period reviewing stories students had written about a group of pictures. I helped them correct their grammar and sentence structure. After class, the principal gave a farewell speech to us. We spent the next couple hours trying to complete the video over our trip in Germany. We stayed until lunch. After lunch, Kelli, Lauren, Emily, and I walked to Werne. Emily and I wanted to walk around the town one last time. We stopped in a couple of stores. We took the bus back to Herbern around 4:30.

For dinner that night we made homemade pizza. Peter showed me how their pizza dough machine worked. We spent some quality family time making pizza and preparing dinner. After dinner, we got a family picture. I brought down my gifts I bought for the family in America. They just loved the gifts I got for them. I spent some time showing them the picture book I brought about the Bluegrass. It was a great last night. I spent the rest of the night sadly packing up my belongings.

Day 23: May 13th, 2014

Today's class schedule was a little bit busier than yesterdays. We had five class periods today. Heike threw us into her classes and let us teach parts of her lessons. I had a fun time working with the 5th, 7th, and 8th graders. The 5th graders were reading a story and they had to write sentences describing people from the story. In the 7th grade class we split up into groups and helped students write a paragraph summarizing information they had learned from a tape recording. Before lunch, we had an 8th grade group. We broke up into groups again. I had the group that was writing about school systems. They had done some researching about different parts of the American school system. So, in class we spent the time writing and discussing school systems.

After school Chris, Emily and I went to Dortmund. We saw the soccer stadium and did some shopping. I had a great time with them and glad I got to see another soccer stadium.

Day 22: May 12th, 2014

Three days left! This week we are at the Anne Frank for student teaching. I didn't have to go in for class until around 11. I only had one class today. So it was a pretty easy day. We had an 8th grade class today. We watched and observed Kelli teach since she had been working with those students last week. After class, Emily and I caught the bus back to Herbern. At my family's house we had lunch. Afterwards we played Just Dance and then walked around Herbern for an hour. It was a nice relaxing day!

Day 21: May 11th, 2014

Today was not only Sunday, but Mother's day and Franzi's birthday. Sunday most Germans take it easy and relax. The family slept in and didn't get up until around 9. I got up early and got ready for the day. I went down stairs early and sat with Lea who was already up as well. Once the family was up, Franzi opened her gifts and we ate breakfast. We had a big family meal together around 2. Franzi, Lea, Annika, and I played Just Dance after lunch. It was fun.

Later we went to the Nordkirchen Castle. We meet Emily, her host mom, Jennay, Bea, and their host mom. As a group we got a tour of the castle. Afterwards, my family plus Emily walked around the place. It was very beautiful.

We went straight from there to a dinner party that Stephanie and Ashely's host family was having. This was our big end of the trip get together for all the student teachers and our host family's. We spent a couple hours there conversing with people. Then we went home for the night.

Day 20: May 10th, 2014

It is my last weekend here in Germany! It is crazy to think that the trip is almost over. Today was spent doing a student teaching workshop. At 9 in the morning we meet at the Anne Frank. During the morning session we learned about the university program to become a teacher and discussed how the two were different and similar. For lunch we went to the famous pizza restaurant in Werne. It was delicious! In the afternoon session, a lady came and taught up some games we could play with students to help them learn content. It was very fun and helpful. The last part of the workshop was spent meeting a parliament member who lived in Hamm.

I spent the evening with my host family. I went to the grocery store and we rented a movie. That night, Franzi and I watched a movie in her room. It was a nice, relaxing night!

Day 19: May 9th, 2014

Today was my last day teaching at the elementary school with Emily and Jennay! We had six periods today; a full schedule! With the 3rd and 4th grade students we had them make Mother's Day cards in English. They had a lot of fun with this project. We gave them construction paper to make flowers and an already cut out flower pot to paste on the front of their card. We had a 2nd grade class we taught " Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" to for the last time. During the first break, we went outside and played soccer with the students. This 4th grade class had been asking all week if we could play soccer with them, so we did. I was sad because I didn't get to play with Lea as well because they are not allowed to mix with other classes.

I forgot to mention but during the first period we had a little girl at the end of class asked one of us to draw a picture of the statue of liberty. I volunteered to do it because I knew I could draw her. So, I spent the next couple periods drawing and coloring the Statue of Liberty. Near the end of the day I went to her classroom and gave her the picture. She was so happy. Her joy of receiving that picture made my day. Those are the moments that make teaching worth it! I knew in that moment I had made a lasting impact on that child just by giving her that picture.

After the last period we said our goodbyes and thanked the teachers for letting us teach at the school. Emily's host mom was there to pick us up because we had to rush off to the train station in Hamm to catch a 2 o'clock train to Koln. We meet Bea and Franzi at the train station. They got a ride from my host mom. The five of us were going to Koln for the afternoon/evening. When we got to Koln we meet a nephew of Emily's host mom and his friend. They were nice enough to show us around the city. They took us to the cathedral and we walked around the historic part of the city. We got to climb up one of the cathedrals towers to the very top. It was an amazing view. From above we were able to see most of the city. On the way down I counted all the steps. There were suppose to be 509 steps. I counted 510, so I felt very proud of myself for almost counting the exact number of steps! I learned much about some of the history and traditions of Koln.