Takeaways and Final Reflection
As I have said over and over again, I truly feel so grateful to have had such an amazing opportunity. I remember sitting in the advisors office over two years ago talking about my upcoming schedule and the future student teaching requirement. On a whim she mentioned the option to complete the student teaching requirement abroad. There had only been 2-3 students who had done so in the past so I really didn’t know what to expect. I turned the idea over and over in my mind and talked to friends and family who I knew had my best interests in mind. Once I came to the decision to go, I was excited! I was still nervous and knew it would be challenging but I also knew that if I didn’t take this opportunity I would regret it for the rest of my life.
If I had to give advice to future PE students, I would definitely suggest going abroad. I loved my experience in NZ and I found it extremely beneficial, although challenging, to learn all about a new curriculum and see how schools do things differently than we do here in the States. I loved learning more about their value in education outside the classroom and giving student’s opportunity to experience the outdoors and the beautiful place they live in.
I don’t feel there is anything I would do differently in terms of my experience in NZ. Each of the components is what made my experience what it was. I loved starting my time at Northcote at the beginning of their school year so I was able to participate in the Pōwhiri, attend the new staff trainings and be in NZ during their best weather months. To future student teachers, I would suggest getting as involved as possible. I attended all of the staff meetings, trainings, socials, morning teas and went to numerous after school sporting events. I feel like these components gave me a great insight as to what the big picture of being a teacher really is. I will be curious to compare the staff environment and interactions at Northcote to the environment I end up working in.
As I mentioned in the last post, I don’t think I can put my experience into words. (I couldn’t even capture it in photos although I did try!) NZ is an amazing place and the people I worked with, interacted with and got to know were all incredible in their own way. It’s beautiful and the scenery is never ending. I will always have a little piece of NZ in my heart after the three incredible months of growth, challenge and accomplishment.
Finally I just want to thank everyone for their continuous support. From receiving check-in emails from relatives to make sure I’m still alive because I haven’t posted in a few days, to friends who reached out to see how I was handling the change or if I was managing the edTPA okay, I feel so grateful to have an amazing support system. The support and encouragement I received is a huge component of what made my experience so positive and doable.
Although this is the end of my blog it is definitely not the end of my adventure! I know there are so many more exciting experiences out there for me and I can’t wait to dive right in!
**One last post with a few last photos to come**