Von der Ohio University und der Eastern Illinois University kommen in diesem Herbst unsere beiden amerikanischen COST-Studenten, die den praktischen Teil ihrer Lehrerausbildung an der KLS absolvieren. Sie machen nicht nur ihre Erfahrungen mit Unterricht im Klassenraum, in dem sie uns in Englisch und ETE als native speakers unterstützen, auch die Begleitung der Studienfahrt eines Englisch-LK der Stufe 12-13 nach London gehörte dazu auf den Spuren Shakespeares und Harry Potters. Bei der Teambildung im Kollegium haben sie am Lehrerausflug kräftig mitgepaddelt, haben einen ersten Eindruck vom Karneval gewonnen, eine Aufführung in der Kölner Oper besucht und natürlich vieles mehr. Aber lassen wir sie doch im Folgenden selbst zu Wort kommen:
My name is Emma Burke and I am an undergraduate at Ohio University but have been living in Koeln, Germany for the past few months working as an English teacher at Koenigin-Luise-Schule. I majored in Integrated Language Arts in the school of Education and minored in Art. I plan on continuing my education when returning to the States for graduate school. My hopes and dreams in the future are to change the lives of students in the most positive way I can, meanwhile having each student change me for the better. My journey has led me here, and I couldn’t be luckier to have had this experience.
Koenigin-Luise-Schule and my experience in Koeln, Germany has been one of the most memorable chapters in my life’s novel to date. What was about to be written down was completely unknown three months ago. But now, if someone were to ask me the title of this chapter it would be “The Indescribable Period.” There are no words to write down, to convey, to prove what this experience has given me – and I’ve only been here for three months! I now understand how going abroad changes someone for the rest of his or her life. But, what most people don’t know is how KLS changes you.
A school is a community of its own. Teachers, students, and their families create a society within four walls filled with educational and personal experiences. Now, this can be difficult for someone new to jump into, but never, not for a second, did I ever feel “new” at KLS. The first day, teachers (both my cooperating and not) were coming up to me and welcoming me to their KLS family. My cooperating teachers at KLS couldn’t have been more supportive of my learning experience at their school. They taught me, allowed me to learn from my mistakes, and helped me grow not only as an educator but also as a twenty-two year old young woman. They opened my eyes to criticism, recognition, and dedication. They taught me that there is no shame in failure, it only makes success that much sweeter. They allowed me to recognize the journey educators must take in order to reach the stars. They showed me that dedication goes further than any other form of emotion in the classroom, and outside. The KLS faculty and staff helped me grow more than I had expected in a matter of 12 weeks, and for that I can’t say thank you enough.
The students that I have met at KLS have truly made this experience unforgettable. Their eagerness to learn, their welcoming tone, and the charisma each one holds made standing in front of them each day enjoyable. The one thing that I was more than terrified about before arriving at KLS was the language barrier, and although there is a barrier there, it’s small; the students try their best to welcome me into their conversations, include me in class, and address me outside class in English, clear as crystal. I developed a relationship with my students that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I will look back in ten years and ask, “I wonder where that one student ended up? She was such a good kid.” I can only hope that I have impacted their lives as heavily as they have impacted mine.
KLS is unlike any school that I could have imagined doing my student teaching at. Although English here is unlike the curriculum in English classes we, as student observers, are used to teaching, it was a learning experience. The first topic I was teaching was science! I never thought that I could accomplish such a task, but I proved myself wrong. The entire experience is one which pushes you beyond your limits, and, although you may feel as though you are not excelling, it’s all about the learning experience, not to be successful your first time around. You learn something new every day; let it be the curriculum, about a student, or about you. Every day at KLS was indescribable.
Hello! My name is Ryan Graff and I am from a Crystal Lake, Illinois. I am finishing my studies at Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor's in Secondary Education Social Studies. The staff at KLS and the city of Cologne has made my experience one of great personal and professional growth.
The KLS school has a great community, filled with friendly staff and students. In teaching and being under the guidance of the KLS teachers, I was able to experience and see many teaching strategies. The differences between American and German culture helped me analyze and constantly evaluate my methods and practices resulting in having greater and better rounded skills as an educator. The students also are a blast. They are respectful and interested in American culture. Oftentimes I would find myself between breaks or after classes sharing stories about life in America. This was not only fun for me to share, but enlightening for the students, in learning about a culture different than their own. Student teaching at KLS has been a joy; I did also manage to make time for personal enjoyment.
At first, I was nervous about enjoying my free time in an unfamiliar city. I had never been across the Atlantic. Therefore, coming to foreign country, living in a city that speaks German, and fitting in with a different culture can be an intimidating time. This was not the case with Cologne, in fact the people and way of living were very easy to get along with and adjust to. The transit system was very simple to understand, within a week I was able to go anywhere I pleased. Visiting numerous sites such as the Cologne Cathedral could occupy me for months. When I wanted to travel to other cities, I was able to book cheap train tickets to many destinations such as the Alps, Munich, and Berlin.
When I originally signed up for the COST program, I questioned whether I wanted to be away from my family and friends. I now have no question whether it was the right or wrong choice. Submersing yourself in another culture, and then to challenge yourself helps you work and re-evaluate your teaching skills. I feel that coming to Germany and teaching at KLS was undoubtedly the best decision I could have made for not only my future as an educator but for my development and growth as one too.
Für ihren weiteren Werdegang wünschen wir ihnen alles Gute und freuen uns, dass sie schon Pläne machen, die KLS und Köln in Zukunft wieder zu besuchen! WW