Meet Victoria Budesa, a 2017 graduate of the Special Education: General Curriculum teacher education program, who is 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.
Below Victoria shares her insights for the month of November.
“Time is flying fast here in Germany! I can’t get over the fact that it is November already and Christmas break is just around the corner. The last two months have been very busy, between planning my lessons, getting more involved with extracurricular at ISS, and getting into the nitty gritty of paperwork in the Special Ed department. My classes have been going well and have been able to get to know my students even better. I have even had the opportunity to see some student growth with a couple of my students, which has been a very rewarding experience.
To be honest, I’ve definitely had my share of bad days and good days. Somedays I feel like I just think about getting through the hard days by taking it block by block, but somedays I feel like things are going smoothly and I can feel proud of my daily accomplishments. But most days, I feel like an octopus, spread in a myriad of directions. Bu that’s truly what a teacher is like. Working on your lesson plans and then having to change directions to do ‘academic first aid’ for a student because they lost their entire project on the computer, to counselling a student about how a certain test grade in math doesn’t define their worth or defines who they are as a person. One of my colleagues in the Special Ed department came up with the metaphor and now we are known as the “SAP Octopuses”. I am very thankful for my team and all the advice and words of wisdom that they have been able to provide during the moments of feeling like an ‘octopus’.
My weekends here have been what has helped me cope with the large workload and the busyness. I have been fortunate to be able to visit some of my extended family that lives in the northern part of Germany as well as travel to different German cities along the way. This month alone I’ve been in Hannover, Dusseldorf, Cologne, and Frankfurt. I am looking forward to the start of the Christmas Market season and getting to get into the festive mood of the holidays. Since we don’t officially celebrate Thanksgiving in Germany, a couple of my American colleagues and I are creating our own Thanksgiving Dinner together to celebrate great friendship, good memories, and moving into the holiday season. I am excited to spend Thanksgiving here in Germany, as untraditional as it might turn out.”