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Western Kentucky University

ICCI

Kathryn Carpenter

Spain, Fall 2011


Dr. Carter,

The first few days at SEK in La Garriga have been amazing. The school day is so different. I have started a blog to keep track of everything that is going on here. The site is: http://katieccarpenter.wordpress.com/

We went to La Garriga last night, and we plan to head to Barcelona for the first time either tonight or tomorrow!

Hope all is well with you!

Thanks,

Katie

Hi Dr. Carter!

This week has been amazing! I'm finally getting the opportunity to interact and teach the students. Last week I mostly observed, because all of my classes were taking tests. However, this week I began teaching some of my cooperating teacher's courses. It is so much fun to finally have the opportunity to be in front of the students. They are enthusiastic and they are full of questions. Now that I have finally interacted with them in the classroom, they also feel more comfortable about approaching me outside of the classroom. I'm really starting to feel part of the SEK community and I'm loving it!

Although I am really enjoying it, I have had a few challenges. The students do know English, but their vocabulary is not as broad as students at home. Therefore, sometimes I have to stop a lesson or an activity and explain a word just so they know what I am saying. My Kentucky accent has also been difficult for them to understand at times, but most of the time they giggle and think it's funny. (For example, none of them knew what I was talking about when I said eye. Then when I pointed to my eye and they figured it out, they started laughing at me and asking me to say it again.) They also like to tell me the Spanish words for some of the things I'm teaching. I'm not sure I'll be able to remember any of the words when I get home, but I think the students enjoy being able to share their culture with me (and I also enjoy hearing/learning about it.) Through these situations, I'm learning a lot about communication. I'm also learning how to incorporate different teaching strategies into my classroom for students whose primary language may not be English.

Another challenge I have faced is the schedule. I am a very organized person, and it is hard for me to get used to such a laid back schedule. None of the classes ever seem to meet on time, and if a math teacher wants to give a test during my science class, I have to let them. Although, this is hard for me, it is teaching me to become more flexible.

I've been keeping up with my blog, so you are more than welcome to read that too! So far, the trip has been so much fun, and I feel that I am learning a lot! I'm enjoying every second of it! Hope all is well!

Katie Carpenter

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 Last Modified 9/24/14