It has been an event filled past few days here in Werne. After arriving Sunday, I finally got to meet my host family. We have done a great job of communicating over the past few months, and it was great to finally meet them in person. We had a WONDERFUL traditional German supper of pork, potatoes, and white asparagus. We sat around the table and ate, told stories, and asked each other questions. My nerves completely went away after tonight and I felt very at home with my new family.
Monday morning came very early, and it was time to finally go to Anne Frank Gymnasium for the first time. My family gave me a bike to travel around town, and I used this to travel to school with my host brother David. We arrived at school and I walked into the teacher’s lounge to see all my other student teaching peers gathered around a table. Tensions were high as everyone was nervous to go to their first class. Luckily, this day was very stress free. We had the opportunity to meet some students and teachers and get to know how daily routines and procedures of the schools. All of this while being video taped for a segment on the local news! After getting acquainted with the school we traveled to the town center to tour the building and areas of interest. I was even interviewed and featured on the segment being asked my favorite foods! My host family and I watched this together the next day and my host mom exclaimed, “I know THAT boy!” when my segment came up. It was really neat to be able to have that opportunity. Afterwards we went back to school and were able to eat lunch and learn how we would be able to order food for each day. After the school day was over, many of the student teachers met in the town center to walk around and look in the shops. Later that evening, my host brothers and I watched “Harry Potter” and spent some time talking about where I’m from and the school I taught at while in Kentucky.
Tuesday was the day of reckoning! We went into our individual classes and met our cooperating teachers (more than just one) for the first time. My first teacher of the day was also my mentor teacher, Wolfram Foelling. I really enjoyed reading some of “Romeo and Juliet” to the students and getting to know Mr. Foelling and his teaching style. It was a very awesome experience to be in a classroom where students were able to speak both English and German with such fluency and ease. Mr. Foelling and I talked about possible lessons I could teach in the future and when our next class would be together. It will be different than what I am used to when I start teaching. Technology will be lacking, so the presentation tools that I am used to using will not be available. I will try to provide some handouts with images for the students so they will be able to see the visualize concepts I am talking about in my lesson. I believe this will be a good experience for me, the students, and even the teachers as we will all be working together to achieve our goal of student learning.
Tomorrow I will be traveling to Bavaria (south Germany) to tour some sites with 4 other student teachers for our long weekend while abroad. Hopefully I will have some great experiences to share when I return!