I have been looking forward to this experience for the last year, so it’s really nice to be able to finally be here in Hamburg, Germany. This summer has been filled with school, work and more work; so what better way to kick-start the semester to travel and teach? I am telling you, there is no better way.
Now that I've been in Hamburg for a little over two weeks, I'm finally finding myself on a comfortable schedule. The first few weeks in Hamburg have been quite wonderful. I arrived in Hamburg on the August 31st from Amsterdam, and was able to check in to my AirBnb with Diana. We had the whole first day to get settled in and explore Hamburg before we were set to meet with our coordinator, Dr. Myriam Hummel at the Universitat Hamburg the following day.
So far, we've learned a number of interesting facts:
- Germany is a federal state with 16 different school systems.
- Hamburg is Europe's greenest city.
- Hamburg has a record-breaking 2,500 bridges.
- All red lanes on the sidewalk are designated for bikes, so watch out (they won't slow down!)
- In Hamburg, all students in the teaching stream, must obtain a Masters degree before commencing their teachers program.
Within the first week, we were invited to attend the ECER 2019 (Education in an Era of Risk) conference as it was being held at the Universitat Hamburg. We had a variety of topics to choose from, and I chose to attend lectures based on:
- Social Justice in Education
- Migration and Transition in Education
- Children's Rights in Education
- Supporting Vulnerable Individuals
It was an amazing experience. We listened to 3 speakers for each topic, and they each had their own unique research in which they presented to us. I took notes, and I will definitely keep them for my future teaching practices.
After the conference, I had my first day at my school placement. My school has two campuses and is considered the biggest school in Hamburg. On my first day, I was in a grade 6 English class and the students were super excited to have us there. They kept asking us questions, and we returned the favour by asking them questions! Our partner teacher has given us the flexibility to choose our own schedules/grades and subjects -- so far, so good! Since then, I've been in the Grade 9 and 11 English class, the Grade 12 Advanced English, the Grade 13 African American Experiences class,
I'm looking forward to the rest of my time here in Hamburg. Hopefully I'll pick up more German.