What attracted you to this
It was/is a unique opportunity and I had felt God's call to "go". Being
able to work with students that are from many different countries seemed
like a good challenge and I wanted to faithfully answer God's call!
Being able to have such an adventure while also living out my calling
serving missionary kids is perfect for me.
What are the most gratifying
aspects of your job?
I love it when I can see the light bulb click on for my students! Only
having two students allows me much more one-on-one time than I would
have in a mainstream school and that is also really rewarding because I
feel like I actually know who my students are as people rather than just
knowing them academically!
What has been/was your biggest
challenge as a first-year teacher?
Packing up and moving to a different country so far away from home, of
course, has its own challenges. As for school, it is interesting to have
your students around you pretty much all the time: during school, in the
dinner line, at the pool, literally everywhere! Also, getting the hang
of a slightly different grading system than we have in the U.S. is a
little challenging as well.
How did your time at GCC prepare
you for the teaching field?
I feel that GCC prepared me for my job so well because my strategy/idea
"toolbelt" was supplied and constructed during my ed. classes and
student teaching experience. Primary/Emergent Literacy is especially
helpful to me now because I am teaching kindergarten and first grade and
teaching those concepts does not come naturally to me so I was glad to
have that training so I wasn't completely overwhelmed!
What advice would you give to a
current pre-service teacher in order to better prepare for his or her future
Keep all the teaching materials you make for class and student teaching!
Also, I found it helpful to look back at pictures I had taken of
cooperating teachers' classrooms to construct what my classroom would
look like, so take pictures of not only you working with the different
students you encounter but also of the classroom itself!
What job search tips would you
give to GCC students? You can NEVER start job searching too early!
Also, explore the unknown—get outside of your comfort zone! I never
thought I would end up in Africa, but I let myself be open to new
experiences and it has been such a great choice!!
What are the challenges and
rewards of teaching in another culture?
Well, my class dynamics are interesting since I'm teaching MK's. One
student is from Pennsylvania and the other is from Sweden! So sometimes
it's hard to get an idea across to my Swedish student because of the
language barrier but we make it work! It's really neat to have him in
our room because my Pennsylvanian student and I are from the same place.
Having another culture in the classroom adds a new angle to what we are
learning and he ALWAYS brings his language into whatever we are learning
so I have integrated so many new Swedish words into my vocabulary!!
What are the challenges and
rewards of living in another culture?
It's intriguing to live in a place where there are so many different
cultures all together. The week I arrived here there were 41
nationalities represented aboard! Some words mean different things in
different cultures so sometimes the language barrier on the ship can be
a little interesting, but for the most part it's really cool to live
with so many people from so many places and learn about how different
cultures do things.