Friday, September 4, 2015

Sharles' Study Abroad Blog: The First Day of School

My very first day at OBS De Klinker was exciting and surprising.  I was warmly greeted by the staff.  The secretary gave me a tour of the building and introduced me to many of the teachers.  Everyone took time to personally welcome me into their school.  I observed that the school was very brightly colored and full of life.

This marks only the second week being in session from their recent break and the teachers already had some students’ work on display in the hallways.  In the morning, I visited some of the classrooms and simply observed their normal routine.  I was surprised to find that there were many components of each classroom that reminded me of American education.

One very prominent aspect of the younger classrooms was the strategy of using music to help students learn. The classroom participated in a song that had the same tune I was used to as an educator in schools in the states.  This goes to show that music is a universal tool.  Also, the young students participated in a circular morning meeting.  Here they discussed things they did over break.  Even though I do not speak the language, I could see that the children were excited to share their experiences.  Later they discussed the current weather, season, date, day of the week, and the month much in the same way that I have observed and taught in American classrooms.

Another aspect of the classrooms was their system of management.  When a student needed to use the restroom, they simply put a clothespin next to their name on a roster before leaving the room quietly.  This strategy was used in all the classrooms that I observed.  This use has positive effects not only for classroom management but also for instruction.  In effect, I observed no classroom interruptions for this cause.  With less interruptions, the students and the teacher are able to focus on the material at hand.  New information can be processed and assimilated with much less frustration.

In conclusion, I found that although I am working in a very different environment, there are certain aspects of the educational teaching experience that remain the same.  No matter what part of the world,  a child must receive a certain amount of care and support in order to grow and prosper in their education.  From my observations in just a single day, I can see that De Klinker follows this example.  The staff strive to guide yet challenge their students in a way much like I hope to reach my future students.  I look forward to learning much more from the staff and students here at De Klinker.

NOTE: This post originally appeared on Sharles' personal blog: www.sharlesabroad.wordpress.com

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