By Ashley Olander
Secondary Education Major, College of Education
I’m majoring in secondary education with an emphasis in physical education and am currently in my last semester of my senior year. I am completing my student teaching at Kodaikanal International School in India. I wanted to do my student teaching abroad because I knew that it would give me an opportunity to learn about a different culture and see how an educational setting outside of the U.S. differs from ours. So when the opportunity to teach at this school came along, I knew that I could not pass it up! I am helping teach seventh grade physical and health education.
When it comes to creating a unit and lesson plan for the semester, I collaborate with my mentor teacher. She provides me with a list of different skills for each sport, from which I create the lesson plans and review them with her. Usually I teach the lessons on my own, but if I have questions, my mentor teacher is always open to helping me. I assess the students’ learning by having them tell me what they learned after the lesson. Additionally, I administer the unit assessments. My mentor teacher tells me what needs to be assessed and then I create the assessment. So far, we have only administered one written test, and for the second unit they completed a playing ability test where they were tested on their efforts to use the skills they learned in a game situation. When I created the written test, my mentor teacher and I reviewed it together before administering it to the students so that we could discuss any changes that might improve the assessment.
So far, teaching abroad has been an amazing experience for me. I’ve met students, teachers and volunteers at the school from all over the world. And, I’ve had the opportunity to chaperone weekend activities including hikes, and to help coach some of the school’s sports teams. I’ve discovered that students are very curious about where I am from and what it is like to live there. They are also very proud of where they come from and like to share information about their country, the languages they speak and their culture.
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