As I prepare for this amazing adventure and opportunity I can’t help but reflect on the last year and a half or so when the idea of going abroad first came to light. Studying abroad is something I’ve always thought I would do but for the first four years of my time at WWU it was tricky to pick a good time that fit in with the soccer schedule. I’d only heard of a few people who had completed their student teaching abroad so I started to look into it and discuss with some of my classmates who were also considering and it seemed like the perfect fit.
This last fall quarter at WWU was a perfect end to my time on campus. I was taking a light credit load, teaching my own beginning conditioning class and working at the Rec Center. Most of my friends have graduated and I really started to feel like a “super senior” on campus. I am excited to finish out my last 15 internship credits on the other side of the world.
Over the past month I have been seeking advice from friends, family, classmates, advisors and teachers. Everyone I’ve talked to has been extremely supportive and many people have even reached out and offered contact information for their connections in NZ!
I am both excited and nervous to be living in a place where I know absolutely no one. I have lived in Bellingham my entire life and have never spent more than 3 weeks away from home at one time. This will be a great opportunity for me to continue to grow as a young adult and focus on becoming the teacher, friend, and college graduate that I want to be.
Aside from being in a completely new place, I am most nervous about completing the edTPA. This is a portfolio project that is designed to assess the skills and knowledge that teachers need in order to be successful. It is a large project that includes assessments on lesson preparation and planning, videotaped lessons, and student voice/assessment. It is a daunting and time consuming project. In talking to my peers who have already completed theirs, it sounds like the biggest indicator of success is appropriate time management and thoroughly reading and writing to the rubrics. WWU doesn’t have a class that focuses on the edTPA for PE students so the hardest part for me is the uncertainty of the whole thing. I know I’ll feel better once I get over there and can dive right in!
There is still a lot I need to do before the 18th, when I depart, but as time winds down I am hoping to spend quality time with my friends and family, prepare as much as I can for the edTPA, continue to communicate with my host family and contacts at Northcote College in order to make this transition as smooth as possible and prepare for a great adventure!!