Hallo from Hamburg for one last time! I can’t believe that I will be heading home in 3 days. Time has gone by so quickly! While I am excited to go home, see my family, sleep in my own bed, and squish my cat and dog, I feel incredibly sad to be leaving. This has been such an amazing experience, and I have taken so much away that has helped me grow as a person and a future teacher. I am so grateful for the opportunity to teach at a school in Germany. Thank you Gyula Trebitsch Schule; it was so hard to say goodbye. I learned more about how to design engaging lessons, building relationships, and teaching ELL students that I will consider in my future teaching. The students really enjoyed lessons with a lot of varied activities as well as lots of pictures. The biggest feedback from students was the need for us to speak slowly. Positive feedback from students was how happy and energetic Steph and I are. During my last practicum, I wasn’t partnered with another student teacher. However, team teaching is on the rise in Calgary, and being able to collaborate with another teacher to plan and teach is another amazing experience that I gained from my time in Germany. It was such a pleasure to be placed at the same school as Steph. I really enjoyed planning lessons and team teaching together.
Living in another country has been incredible! It’s been eye opening coming to Germany as I have spent time in countries where the culture shock is obvious: Israel, Turkey, Jordan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Burma for example. It was definitely an adjustment when I first moved here, but it wasn’t obvious culture shock, as Hamburg is similar to Calgary in many ways. The difference in culture is a lot subtler. People are less/not friendly and don’t openly display emotions. Grocery shopping was really stressful the first couple of times because you have to pack your groceries and pay at the same time, but people behind you start immediately moving into your space even when you haven’t finished packing your groceries! I have never experienced this kind of stress at a grocery store in Canada. Also, people are often completely silent on transit. An entire crowded bus full of people in Hamburg; you could drop a pin and hear it. It took me a couple weeks to adjust to this, but I am definitely looking forward to the friendliness and happiness of people in Calgary. (Although I heard that there is a snowfall warning – so we will see how happy and friendly people are). I was informed that the weather in Hamburg is similar to Vancouver. In my mind I had an idea of what that would be like, but I was not mentally prepared for this much rain! I grew up in Calgary where most days are sunny with the odd couple of days of cloud. In Hamburg, it rains ALL THE TIME with the odd 1-day of sun. My trip to Italy was definitely needed to recharge and feel the sun again! I didn’t realize how much the rain would affect me, but I am looking forward to coming back to Calgary to get away from this rain. (Again – snowfall warning so maybe not mentally prepared for that either).
I have travelled alone a lot, but prior to TAB I had never lived abroad. Before coming to Germany, I was worried about how to go grocery shopping? What will I cook for myself? Where will I get my face cream and shower gel? I lived alone for 5 years in Calgary and Edmonton, and living in Hamburg hasn’t been that much different. I can cook, clean, and look after myself. I love being alone in my flat, staying in, and watching Netflix with my dinner. Also, I absolutely love my flat in Winterhude. It’s close to everything but quiet at the same time. I will definitely miss this place that I’ve called home for the past couple of months! I am incredibly grateful for this amazing opportunity. I learned so much and will be a better person and teacher because of this experience. It’s bittersweet saying goodbye. Vielen dank Hamburg! Auf wiedersehen! Tschüss!
Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii - a dream of mine to see since taking Archeology 101 in my undergrad.