Thursday, December 3, 2015

Outreach endeavors share story of OU-C student Sharles Thompson’s adventures in Netherlands

A billboard in McArthur touts Sharles' overseas adventures.


The Ohio University-Chillicothe campus is highlighting the efforts of a local Vinton County resident, Sharles Thompson.  A graduate of Vinton County High School, Thompson is currently studying abroad in the Netherlands as part of the Ohio University-sponsored Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching (COST) program.  In an effort to share Thompson’s experiences abroad the Chillicothe campus is highlighting her endeavors on the Campus News Blog.

In the spirit of the campus’ mission to strengthening both students and the region, OU-C has dedicated resources to bring Thompson’s endeavors to the community. She is featured on a billboard in McArthur in Vinton County. The billboard references the study abroad blog that is prominently featured on the Campus’ news blog.

Thompon’s blog can be found on the home page of the OU-C News Blog by simple click on the link to “Sharles’ Study Abroad Blog” to view all of her posts so far. Or, her posts can be found at the URL: www.oucnewsblog.com/p/sharles-study-abroad-blog.html

A goal of these efforts was to provide Thompson with an outlet to share her experiences so others can benefit from her endeavors and even be inspired by her efforts.

Thompson arrived in the Netherlands in late August to begin her teaching internship at De Klinker in Oud-Bijerland, an early childhood education school. For the past three months, she has been documenting her experiences on a very insightful and thoughtful blog.  Thompson is featuring a variety of aspects of her life abroad, including the differences in educational systems and teaching styles, cultural nuisances and the barriers she faces as an English-speaking educator.

“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,” wrote Thompson in her post about her first day of school.

“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.”

Thompson pursued her higher education at the Chillicothe Campus right after high school. She selected the campus thanks to its close-to-home location and affordability. After enrolling in the early childhood education program, Thompson has had the opportunity to intern in classrooms in Vinton, Ross and Hocking counties. This was her first chance to observe a variety of different classrooms, districts and teaching strategies.

Now, through her program in the Netherlands, Thompson is diversifying her experiences even further with the hope of better preparing her to reach her future students. By learning how to function in a totally foreign environment with people she has never before interacted with, Thompson will be better equipped to look at the classroom with a perspective that is unmatched.
In her most recent post Thompson wrote, “I am experiencing barriers that I have not had any experience within my home culture. Overcoming these barriers proves to be challenging and somewhat overwhelming at points. However, the reward is worth the risk of always wondering what could have happened if I wouldn’t have simply stepped out of my comfort zone.”

“We are so proud of Sharles for taking her education one step, and many miles, further by pursuing such an exciting and challenging adventure,” said OU-C Dean Martin Tuck.

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