Student Teachers Respond to Children in Tanzania and China
July 1, 2010 - Preparing Teachers for the Classrooms of the World…it’s far more than a catch phrase…it’s a reality of Union’s Teacher Education Program!
In Spring 2003, junior Sarah Hubbard approached Dr. Dottie Myatt about the possibility of student teaching in an international setting. Dr. Cynthia Jayne, Director of the Institute for International and Intercultural Studies, had recently visited George Washington Academy, an American school in Casablanca, Morocco, and highly recommend that we pursue placement there. GWA was most willing and eager to host Sarah for the full semester and placed her with a fourth grade teacher and with a teacher who taught seventh and eighth grade science and history. Sarah was on her way!
The next year, Tiffany Glaze requested to be placed in Honduras. Union had a connection with a family serving as missionaries in Honduras. Through that connection, Tiffany was placed at Ebenezer Academy for the last half of the semester of student teaching.
When several more students expressed interest in international student teaching, Dr. Myatt researched organizations that place international student teachers around the world. Union’s Teacher Education Program decided to join the Christian College Teacher Education Coordinating Council (http://www.interactionintl.org/cctecc.asp) which is affiliated with Interaction International. CCTECC had 16 member institutions including Anderson, Biola, Taylor, and Wheaton. Student teachers placed by CCTECC are required to attend the Pre-experience Orientation (PEO) held in Indiana the semester before student teaching. The PEO provides invaluable information about living and teaching in other cultures and provides the opportunity for student teachers from several Christian institutions across the country to meet and interact.
Since 2004 when Union placed its first international student teacher, seven other student teachers (Tiffany Glaze, Rachel Cazalas, Sarah Herzog, Bonnie Duffield Mlalazi, Alaina Bare Holland, Lydia Bond Barnes, and Ashley Diehm Fern) have been placed in Honduras, Israel, Uganda, Ireland, Costa Rica, and Ecuador.
In spring 2011, Amanda Baldwin, elementary education major, will be student teaching at Haven of Peace Academy in
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Kelsey Samples, music education major, will be student teaching at the International Academy of Beijing, China.
International Student Teachers Reflect
"The opportunity to student teach overseas is what brought me to Union in the first place. I feel a call on my life to teach overseas as a missionary, and my hopes are that this program will only further confirm that call. I hope to grow as a person, a believer, and an educator as I walk through this process." -Amanda Baldwin, student teacher at Haven of Peace Academy, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Spring 2011
I was drawn to international student teaching because I believe that to become the best teacher possible, you should open yourself to every opportunity for growth. As a music major, it is hard to study abroad. However, international student teaching allows me to experience education through an entirely different culture and to expand my professional and personal worldview. I look forward to gleaning new skills and techniques overseas that will only make me a better educator and person." -Kelsey Samples, student teacher at International Academy of Beijing, China, Spring 2011
"I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to complete my student teaching overseas. I loved the school, my coworkers, the students, and the culture! Though the distance from home was difficult at times, it was a very worthwhile and rewarding experience." -Sarah Hubbard, student teacher at George Washington Academy, Casablanca, Morocco, Spring 2004
"International student teaching broadened my viewpoint of being an educator. The world is much bigger than just America. As a lifetime learner there is much to experience from other cultures while we are educating! I had amazing adventures of living with another culture as well as learning to teach with a true world perspective. I cherished my time I got to student teach abroad. My roommate and I captured many of our experiences on our blog site: http://lydiaalaina.blogspot.com/2009/04/la-fortuna-and-more.html. I loved my experience overseas so much that today I am working at an International School in Ecuador." -Alaina Bare Holland, student teacher at Country Day School, Costa Rica, Spring 2009
“Sometimes, we must experience what we are not to understand who we truly are. For me, student teaching internationally in Costa Rica not only gave me a broader and more accurate portrayal of cultural diversity, but it also allowed me to understand my own cultural identity. In my classroom of 18 students, there were over 8 countries represented, with only two from the United States. Students in my class spoke 4 different languages and practiced a variety of different religions. In reality, the only thing these students had in common was the desire to learn. During my time at CDS I was challenged to use all of the knowledge gained from my time at Union and apply it, while actively living out my faith. Each day I was challenged to show the love of Christ through the way I related to my students. My prayer life was deepened as I daily brought these children, the principal, and my cooperating teacher before the throne of the Father. Though I did not walk away seeing life change in all my students, I can say that my own faith was deeply strengthened through the process as I became more aware of my identity in Him. I can also say that both my students and I learned a tremendous amount. After the amazing experience I had teaching internationally, I cannot imagine having done it any other way.” -Lydia Bond Barnes, student teacher at Country Day School, Costa Rica, Spring 2009.
"Teaching in a different country helped me learn about how to use resources creatively and how to work with students from different cultures. My experience in Honduras proved vital, not only in helping me get hired as a bilingual teacher back in the USA, but also in making me more aware of how my teaching can affect both students and colleagues. The opportunity to work with people in a different country was truly invaluable." -Tiffany Glaze, student teacher at Ebenezer Academy, Honduras, Spring 2005.
"I am grateful for the once in a life time experience to student teacher in Quito, Ecuador. International student teaching provided me with incredible opportunities to develop my skills as an educator and learn valuable insights from talented teachers. These experience allowed me to both study abroad and student teach at the same time." -Ashley Diehm Fern , student teacher at Alliance Academy, Quito, Ecuador, Spring 2009