Thursday, December 31, 2015

Was it a dream?

We have now been home for at least three weeks.  It still feels weird to think about the time that I had in Ireland.  It feels like it was all a dream!  During the holiday season, many people asked about my time in Ireland, how we spent our time, and about the weather.  I felt myself answer everyone with the same answer of "It was amazing!” but Ireland was more than amazing. 

Ireland taught me so much about myself that I did not see until I got home.  Ireland changed the way I think about the world, America, and myself.  It changed the way I see the American education process, the way I view the classroom and students.  Ireland changed me and I believe it was all for the best. 

Now as I sit here typing I am putting together my teacher portfolio.  This will be the talking point during interviews that will show my future employer who I am in the classroom.  There is so much pressure riding on this 3 ring binder that it blows my mind.  This binder has to speak for who I am as a teacher and professional.  The want to put everything into this binder is crazy, but as I sit back and think about what the employer wants to see I find that I want to put quality information in this binder. 

Now I sit here waiting for the right position to open knowing that I have time get my ducks in a row before then. 

Love always,

Emma Duncan

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Week in Review

Thanksgiving Irish Style:

Not being home on Thanksgiving had to be one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I found myself really missing home on Thanksgiving.  However, my school worked really hard to make sure that we did not get too homesick that day.  At lunch, we walked into the break room and saw an Irish Thanksgiving meal laid upon the table.  The meal included lasagna, quiche, coleslaw, potato salad, and sour crème and onion pringles. The meal was delicious even though it was unique. Maybe sour crème and onion pringles should be at every Thanksgiving feast. :) It will definitely be a Thanksgiving that I will never forget.  

Penny’s sales skyrocket as American students discover a hidden gem:

Penny’s is a wonderful place where dreams come true.  Imagine a store with super cute, and hip clothing for dirt-cheap prices.  You have imagined Penny’s (not to be confused with J.C. Penny’s). Penny’s has become our obsession lately; we have been to two different ones on the trip here. While here, the teachers at the school told us that they have started opening ones in America!  I have never been so excited in my whole entire life! I can't wait for a Penny's to move closer to Bowling Green, but it will take all my money!

Irish Students love learning about America:

While in Ireland, I have been teaching the students in my class about American history and geography.  They always have many questions, and really seem to soak up the information like sponges.  For one of my lessons, I played “My Old Kentucky Home” which they loved because they said that it was so classy. During the song they tried to sing along which was quite funny, but they were great sports! After the song was over they sang their County Mayo song which was beautiful to hear. 

Lately, they have been really interested in talking about the upcoming presidential election, and have loved to share their viewpoints.  I find it amazing that these students are so interested in this election, whereas students at home would not really care about the election so much. They are also very interested in historical events that happened in America such as 9/11. They had many questions and stories about 9/11, even though they were born in 2003. 

Final Week:

We have now made it to the final week of our study abroad! I can't believe that we have been here for over 20 days. The time has flown by just as we knew it would. We have done so much and learned even more during our time here. I have found new classroom techniques that I plan on incorporating into my classroom. I have found faults in the American system as well as the Irish system. I have grown as a teacher during this experience. I can't imagine myself without this experience. It is one that I will cherish for a lifetime!