Passport: Student Teaching

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As a freshman in college, I sat in an orientation program for the Teacher Ed program at WKU. Towards the end of a long meeting, a speaker from the department came to talk about student teaching abroad. At that point in my life, I had only traveled to the Dominican Republic on a one-week, high school mission trip and senior year of college felt like it was decades away. But within a few minutes of his presentation, I was sold. I was 100%, most definitely, no questions asked, going to student teach abroad my senior of college. I called my mom while walking home from this meeting and told her my fantastic news. If you know my mother, you can imagine how unbelievably excited she was to hear this. (If you don’t know my mother, you should know the previous sentence was 100% sarcastic. She was not excited – she was already worrying.)

However, four years later, and she’s hopped on board with the student teaching abroad plan. Thank goodness, because in one week from today, I will be teaching my first day in QUITO, ECUADOR! It’s unbelievably surreal to me that a dream I had four years ago is coming true. In high school, I never would have imagined myself staying away from home, in a foreign country, for a month. I also never saw myself as a teacher! It’s crazy how much I have grown in the past four years at WKU! Although I am very nervous for this adventure to begin, I know without a doubt that Ecuador is exactly where I need to be! I am eager to see what doors this opportunity will open for my career.

In seven days, I will walk into a classroom of 2nd graders that I have been blessed to work with! My school is called Collegio Menor and is for children of Ecuadorian Embassy workers. I’ve been told it is an incredibly nice, safe school with a lot of great staff and resources. (This is such a stark contrast to my last abroad experience in Kinshasa, Congo.) I am traveling with two other student teachers from Western: Mackenzie and Rachel. We are all working in the same school and will be staying together with one of the teachers. Roommates were a huge answered prayer for me – even though we are pretty sure our “house mom” doesn’t speak English! (Stay tuned for our adventures – we are all blogging!)

I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity. I have been so blessed by several scholarships from WKU and my family’s investment in my future. I’m also forever grateful for everyone that has supported me emotionally along the way during the time leading up to this trip! I’ve got an amazing family, hilarious friends, supportive sorority sisters and a great boyfriend – all of whom I’m going to miss terribly during the month I am gone. I can honestly say that without them, and DEFINITELY without God’s grace and divine plan, this trip wouldn’t be happening!

I’ll be blogging at least once a week while I am teaching so, until next week, when my friends and I are settled in our Ecuadorian house, adios!

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