Meet Victoria Budesa, a 2017 graduate of the Special Education: General Curriculum teacher education program, who will be spending her first year teaching abroad as a special education teacher in an international school in Stuttgart, Germany. Her blog, “The Teaching Adventures of Miss B,” shares a weekly recount of the many experiences, funny moments, travel adventures, and reflections as an international school teacher over the course of her first year of teaching abroad.
The last six weeks living here in Stuttgart have surely been filled with many moments of discovery, adventure, growing, as well as creating memories. I just finished working the summer camp for ages 4-12 that my school, the International School of Stuttgart (ISS), holds each year for the community as well as children that attend the school during the year as well. It was a great opportunity to not only get to meet some of the students who go to the school, but also an great way of acclimating to my new life here in Stuttgart.
Acclimating to my new life here in Stuttgart took a couple of days, but was easier then I initially suspected. The biggest things I had to get used to were having most shops, restaurants, and supermarkets closed on Sundays, navigating the public transportation system, and grocery shopping more frequently, as refrigerators are not as big here in Germany as they are in the states typically. Here in Stuttgart, I share an apartment with three other one-year contract teachers at the school, which was one of several perks I was given in my contract. The four of us have really gotten along and have become great friends over the last six weeks. We live in the south part of Stuttgart, about 10 minutes via the U-Bahn (German subway) to the center of town and 20 minutes to school, which is very convenient. Another one of those perks included the school paying for me to take a basic level German class at a language school near the center of town. I am three weeks into the language class and I have enjoyed my time so far and being able to use basic phrases to get around town. I am hoping that I will be able to speak some German by the time the holiday season begins.
This week, I begin with ‘induction week’, a whole week dedicated to new staff coming into ISS this year. I will be getting a tour of the school, meeting some of the faculty I will be working beside, learning about the curriculum taught here (ISS follows the IB, or International Baccalaureate, model), as well as determining my schedule for the year as an Upper School (Grade 6-10) Special Education Teacher. I am excited to get to meet my new colleagues as well as learn more about where I will be teaching this year. School officially doesn’t begin until next Thursday, but I will have professional development with the whole school faculty before then.
I am so thankful to be able to bring my knowledge of special education, and LOVE of teaching this coming year to my students here in Stuttgart. I have no clue what this year will bring, but know that it’s simply the beginning of a new, exciting chapter in my career as an educator and I can’t wait to see what happens along the way!