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.
You can read here first SOE blog post from August here.
If anyone tells you that the first couple weeks of school are easy peasy, they aren’t telling the truth! The last three weeks have been extremely busy, between getting into a new morning routine, starting to adjust to the fact that I am teaching in 90 minute blocks, planning my lessons, as well as starting to get acclimated to the culture of school. Thankfully, the last three weeks I have been able to accomplish much of my lesson planning during the day, as I have not had to do much substituting (part of my contract), which will definitely change as the school year gets more into a swing. On top of working in the special education department, I was asked to assist with a class in the EAL department, which has been a new experience for me, as I don’t have any experience with students with limited English proficiency. The class has been going well so far and I really have gotten to enjoy getting to know not only my students but the students in the EAL department as well.
To say the least, I feel some days that I am barely keeping my head above the water, but thankfully I have been able to connect to people here at the school as well as people from back in the states to help ease some of the apprehension as well as have tried to help conquer some preliminary ‘road blocks’. But it’s still a HUGE challenge, which I don’t think anyone could prepare for. But what I have learned over the last three weeks, is the importance of reaching out to those around you (whether close by or across the ocean), who are willing to help support you, whether with lesson planning ideas, moral support, or just lending some advice about being a first year teacher. I am starting to really see the importance of creating your own ‘support system’, especially during your first years of teaching.
Someone asked me the other day what my favorite part of Germany has been so far. I would have to say the several friendships that have come together over the past two and a half months living here. It’s been really interesting and refreshing to have become friends with people of all different ages, walks of life, and interests. I definitely don’t think I would be meeting the same type of people if I were back in the states. The numerous festivals that go on during the weekends have also been a highlight of my time here as well. We’ve had the Italian/German/French Festival in Tübingen (small town outside of Stuttgart), The Stuttgart Weindorf (wine festival), and this coming week the Wassen (Stuttgart’s Octoberfest) begins.