Gleich zwei Studenten der Eastern Illinois University (EIU) kamen von August bis Dezember 2012 für ihr COST-Praktikum an die KLS und haben in Englisch und ETE vielfältige Unterrichtserfahrungen gesammelt. Sie haben uns geholfen, die USA und ihre Traditionen wie Thanksgiving, aber auch aktuelle und historische politische Ereignisse besser zu verstehen wie z.B. die Präsidentschaftswahlen vom November. Ob sie 5er in den Zoo begleitet, die ersten Erfahrungen mit Karneval gemacht oder sich mit Schülern und Kollegen zu verschiedensten Themen ausgetauscht haben, beide waren mit Begeisterung dabei! Hören wir sie selbst:
As I am sitting here writing this, I cannot believe my time at KLS is coming to an end. When I first received news that my student teaching placement was in Cologne, Germany, I had many thoughts running through my head. I was excited, nervous, afraid, and hopeful. What I did not know, however, was how much this experience would change my life. Today, I walk away with confidence, independence, and an even stronger drive to pursue my wildest dreams.
Every day at KLS was a new adventure. I was placed in 5 different classes with students ranging from 10-17 years old. With the younger students, I loved having the opportunity to teach them English for the very first time. Watching their progress throughout the semester has been incredibly rewarding. I often walked out of the classroom with the widest smile on my face, knowing that I had taught these students something that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. My lessons with the older students have been nothing less than exciting! We have had some outstanding conversations about topics like the American Dream, the Civil Rights Movement, and other matters regarding American history, which I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching them. The way these students strive for growth and betterment each day is truly remarkable. Their ability to ask questions, practice their English, and put their knowledge to use is brilliant.
The teachers I worked with at KLS had an enormous impact on my experience. Each day, they would take the extra time to teach me new techniques, show me the specific ways of the German school system, or offer ideas to help guide me in the right direction. I could not have accomplished all that I have without their constant support and positivity.
Living and working in Cologne has been one of the single-most gratifying experiences of my life. The city itself is lively, diverse, and filled with beautiful pieces of history. I have met people from all over the world and experienced some exciting traditional Cologne events, while living in a foreign country for the very first time.
I am leaving this experience as a changed person, knowing that I will someday return to the people, children, and place that have changed my life for the better.
My entire experience in Germany through the COST program has been incredible. Right from the start, I could tell that we were going to have a lot of support from everyone at KLS. Our coordinator, Evelin Wright, went out of her way to help us, from picking us up at the station on the first day to coaching us throughout the experience. I could not have imagined a more inviting welcome to a new culture.
Once I was able to get into the classroom, I was really able to see how rewarding the COST program could be. It was great working with the students, and helping them communicate in English. I could not believe how fluently the students could speak. Many of my eighth graders were able to have full conversations with me. I have loved teaching a variety of topics from the American election, immigration, to economics. The students have always risen to the challenge of having a native English speaker teaching, and I have certainly learned a lot about teaching while here. This experience has been an incredible one from the perspective of an educator. I have learned so much about different styles of teaching, and I have had a great opportunity to learn more about myself as a teacher. However, it is what I have seen from the students that has really been rewarding. Whether it is working on simple communication, or covering an advanced topic like the Electoral College, I have been amazed by every chance I’ve had to interact and teach the students of KLS.
However, the COST program is not just about time in the classroom. It is a chance for young educators to leave their comfort zone, and experience a new culture. While in Germany, I have been able to see so much. I have been to Rome, Venice, Amsterdam, Munich, and I am still not done traveling. Seeing all of these things was only possible, because I was able to come here through COST. Outside of these travels though, it has been great just being able to explore Cologne. I have loved living in a city that has so much history. There are so many great things to see in Cologne. Whether it is seeing the Dom, sitting by the Rhein, going to a museum, or just eating some Döner, I cannot begin to explain how many great experiences I have had while here. I am truly grateful for the last four months, and I cannot begin to thank all the people who helped me have one of the best experiences, if not the best, that I have ever had.
Wir haben gern mit ihnen zusammen gearbeitet und wünschen ihnen für ihre weitere Zukunft mit Jobsuche oder weiteren Auslandserfahrungen alles Gute!