Blair Reynolds

Major: Elementary Education
Class: Senior
Timeframe: Spring 2019
Type of Experience: International Student Teaching
Program: Poland
Destination: Poland

Overall Experience

My overall experience was amazing! Student teaching in Poland, and traveling around Europe taught me more than I could have imagined. From the first day meeting the students and touring the school, to our last lesson and saying goodbye, we felt welcomed, appreciated, and highly respected. Being in central Europe, we also had the opportunity to travel to many different countries. In each country, we tried new cuisine, met people from around the world, and got to experience each culture. My eight weeks abroad helped shape my perspective on how to approach my future students and the cultures they bring to the classroom.

Learning experience

My most valuable learning experience was learning about the importance of languages. All students start learning English at age 5. In their upper education, they also learn at least one more language, if not more. Every student is multi-lingual. This makes students more culturally aware and better able/willing to communicate with others. I hope to bring this practice to my classroom in some way to advance my students' education.

Memorable experience

The most memorable experience I had was the opportunity to showcase the school to potential students. At NCCS they have an open house to show potential students the school and the activities they offer. We got to help introduce the school and the different quirks current students had told us about to the potential students through trivia questions. They were required to answer in English as we didn't speak Polish. This was a challenge for some students, but was a major confidence boost when they got the answers correct. Many students would stay after the session to ask us questions about home or just to hear us talk as native English speakers. They loved the opportunity to practice their speaking skills with us, and thanked us many times.

What advice would you give?

My advice to others is to take advantage of every opportunity. Do something fun whenever you can. Try new cuisine. Get to know your students--their lives and insight to life are amazing. Always show gratitude when someone works to communicate with you in English. Meet new people in each place you visit--have a conversation with them. Lastly, make the most of every moment.

International Connections