End of Placement: What Now…? (Section 4)

My Learning from Life placement is coming to a close and it is necessary for us to take a step back from all the work we have done as student teachers in a different setting from our usual Scottish format to see what learning we will go forth and conduct from the knowledge and understanding that we have gained whilst being out on our MA2 placement.

For me, I already know that I want to investigate even more systems of education beyond the International Baccalaureate to see what the different beliefs on what “education” really means can form different institutions for learning. This is because I have seen that working at an IB school has really sparked lots of time for self-reflection in terms of my role as a teacher and what the role of any practitioner or “educator” is. Particularly, when it concerns gaining the best learning for the next generation of learners and innovators. To do this, I will go back to some of the country systems that we learned about for our comparative studies in semester 1 and look over the systems with newfound knowledge and understanding on differences of educational philosophies. It will stead me well for my future placements as I know that I am becoming a critical practitioner instead of a docile teacher that does not question their purpose in the realm of institutional education.

Furthermore, I hope to continue my studies of German further and not lose the new vocabulary and grammar understanding that I have gained during my time in Stuttgart. I want to delve deeper into the different dialects of German also, because this was an area that I found challenging when communicating with people that had a Hochdeutsch dialect. I could even look into attending the night classes at the university for German in order to maintain my language capabilities, as I did in first year as part of the elective. What has been most beneficial for me is that, as time has gone on, I have been able to cope with and understand larger volumes of German language. I remember that it was such a massive area that i struggled with in terms of being able to digest what was being spoken to me, but now I am far more capable of breaking down the words in spoken speech.

I also really hope to stay in contact with my host family that have put up with me for 2 whole months. They have shown me a whole new way of life and really been helpful of contextualising differences in cultures and language. They’ve also shown me that being open to differences can bring great benefits for understanding of yourself and your own heritage. I will never forget the evening meals spent at the dinner table where discussions are conducted in German, English and French in a free flowing manner. There shouldn’t be a closed off outlook on miscommunication issues either. The best part of language-learning is working through misunderstandings and errors and working together to see what learning can be had from interactions.

Overall, I feel that I am brimming with enthusiasm for the future ahead beyond Learning from Life. As sad as it is for it to come to an end, I realise that I must continue and look for the next adventures that will come my way in my teaching career and in my life as a whole. Better yet, I now have a bigger drive to go out and find those adventures because of the sheer openness I had towards LfL and I can see the great learning that I have achieved because I jumped right into the deep end.

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