Friends and Family:
For the last 3 years, Aethena and I have been living in Duluth while I work towards my undergraduate degrees in English and Teaching Communication Arts & Literature for Grades 5th – 12th. Finally, I am in my last year and this January I will be student teaching!
Through the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), I have a once in a lifetime opportunity to split my 16 weeks of student teaching: 8 weeks student teaching in Duluth, and 8 weeks student teaching abroad in Ljubljana, Slovenia – Central Europe! I am writing because this amazing opportunity can only be possible with your help:
I need to raise $3,800 by December 4th
Why do I want to student teach abroad? As a parent, one of the most important qualities I look for in a teacher is someone who appreciates the beautiful person Aethena is now while encouraging her to grow. How do you want your children, your nieces and nephews to grow? What kind of teachers inspired you? I am inspired by the teachers who encourage my creativity by sharing their unique life experiences and ideas as a means to spur my growth. Whether it is being blown away by a new style of poetry, reading a book that reshaped how I look at the world, or being given the keys to successfully speak in front of groups of 500 – the teachers who most inspire me do so because they help me envision a different reality.
I am going to be a teacher because education is about empowering and encouraging individuals. Student teaching in a foreign country will allow me to soak up unique experiences to stoke my future student’s imaginations. Being completely submerged in a foreign culture requires you to problem solve and look at things differently – it exposes you to brand new perspectives on old issues. Our society seems always at war with our neighbors – “you’re wrong, I’m right, end of story” and nothing gets solved. We have to help our youth find a better way. What if students asked more questions and learned to listen more empathetically? Maybe better solutions for all parties could be found if we took more time to understand each other. The school I will be student teaching abroad at has a different approach to education that will help me more successfully teach future students the skills of listening to understand.
I will be student teaching abroad at the Danila Kumar International Baccalaureate School. International Baccalaureate (IB) Schools use an Inquiry Method for learning, encourage students to think critically, challenge assumptions, and conduct quality research on their way to developing as independent, thoughtful global citizens and lifelong learners. Classrooms in IB Schools are led by student questions and involve a lot of hands on learning. Having experience at an International Baccalaureate School will not only make me stand out as a new teacher candidate, it will give me a different tool set to encourage students to take learning into their own hands and dare to imagine a different reality.
This will be great!- but in our present reality, you might have some questions about this proposal of mine…like
How will you spend $3,800?
The following expenses comes from the University Minnesota Duluth’s Study Abroad program and is based on 8 weeks living and teaching in Ljubljana, Slovenia:
Round Trip Airfare 1,500
Room & Board 1,300
Personal Expenses 1,000
Grand Total $3,800
Unique and exciting factors of this experience:
· Students from over 26 countries attend the Danila Kumar School. While English is the school’s shared language, I will gain experience teaching English language learner courses – both experiences I will not get student teaching in Duluth.
· Because of the setup of Danila Kumar, I will get to teach in middle school AND high school. Most student teaching placements in the States are only one or the other.
· Slovenia is located in central Europe which means I am less than 2 hours from hiking the Julian Alps OR strolling along the Adriatic Sea J
· I will be sharing a house with the 5 other UMD student teachers, Danila Kumar School feeds us a free hearty lunch every school day, & I get a bus pass to explore Ljubljana!
· The relationship between UMD and Danila Kumar IB School has existed for many years. The principal gives first preference to UMD student teachers and makes sure we receive high quality supervision & feedback while student teaching in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Hiking 34miles from Ljubljana
City of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Adriatic coast in Piran, Slovenia
What about Aethena?
For the past year plus, Aethena has been spending half her time with her father – and they both love it! A year ago, my brother Brian moved to Duluth to live with us while I finish school. His primary contribution has been an increase in shrieking and laughter. The point is, Aethena will continue to be fully supported by Mark and Brain while I am abroad. Of course, she will miss me –but I will probably miss her more! Aethena is so excited to spend more time with George, Mark’s beagle, and if all goes as planned, Brian and Aethena will come visit me during my last week in Slovenia. What an incredible experience that will be for an 8 year old!
What can you do now?
You can make this learning opportunity a reality by donating now to help me raise $3,800 by December 4th.
As a thank you for your support and as a powerful way to document my experiences and use them as a learning tool, I will keep a blog while abroad. You agree to fund my teaching in Slovenia, I agree to update my blog at least twice every week – once pertaining to education, and once pertaining to all the adventure and culture I will be soaking up!
Be sure to follow my blog: https://bethanyteachingabroad.weebly.com
I am going to make a difference in the lives of students, and you can say you helped make that happen.
Send me to Slovenia!
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