Student Resources > International Student Teaching
"The opportunity to student teach overseas is what brought me to Union in the first place. I feel a call on my life to teach overseas as a missionary, and my hopes are that this program will only further confirm that call. I hope to grow as a person, a believer, and an educator as I walk through this process."
-Amanda Baldwin, student teacher at Haven of Peace Academy, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Spring 2011
"I was drawn to international student teaching because I believe that to become the best teacher possible, you should open yourself to every opportunity for growth. As a music major, it is hard to study abroad. However, international student teaching allows me to experience education through an entirely different culture and to expand my professional and personal worldview. I look forward to gleaning new skills and techniques overseas that will only make me a better educator and person."
-Kelsey Samples, student teacher at International Academy of Beijing, China, Spring 2011
"International student teaching broadened my viewpoint of being an educator. The world is much bigger than just America. As a lifetime learner there is much to experience from other cultures while we are educating! I had amazing adventures of living with another culture as well as learning to teach with a true world perspective. I cherished my time I got to student teach abroad. My roommate and I captured many of our experiences on our blog site. I loved my experience overseas so much that today I am working at an International School in Ecuador."
-Alaina Bare Holland, student teacher at Country Day School, Costa Rica, Spring 2009
"Sometimes, we must experience what we are not to understand who we truly are. For me, student teaching internationally in Costa Rica not only gave me a broader and more accurate portrayal of cultural diversity, but it also allowed me to understand my own cultural identity. In my classroom of 18 students, there were over 8 countries represented, with only two from the United States. Students in my class spoke 4 different languages and practiced a variety of different religions. In reality, the only thing these students had in common was the desire to learn. During my time at CDS I was challenged to use all of the knowledge gained from my time at Union and apply it, while actively living out my faith. Each day I was challenged to show the love of Christ through the way I related to my students. My prayer life was deepened as I daily brought these children, the principal, and my cooperating teacher before the throne of the Father. Though I did not walk away seeing life change in all my students, I can say that my own faith was deeply strengthened through the process as I became more aware of my identity in Him. I can also say that both my students and I learned a tremendous amount. After the amazing experience I had teaching internationally, I cannot imagine having done it any other way."
-Lydia Bond Barnes, student teacher at Country Day School, Costa Rica, Spring 2009
"I am grateful for the once in a life time experience to student teacher in Quito, Ecuador. International student teaching provided me with incredible opportunities to develop my skills as an educator and learn valuable insights from talented teachers. These experience allowed me to both study abroad and student teach at the same time."
-Ashley Diehm Fern, student teacher at Alliance Academy, Quito, Ecuador, Spring 2009
"Teaching in a different country helped me learn about how to use resources creatively and how to work with students from different cultures. My experience in Honduras proved vital, not only in helping me get hired as a bilingual teacher back in the USA, but also in making me more aware of how my teaching can affect both students and colleagues. The opportunity to work with people in a different country was truly invaluable."
-Tiffany Glaze, student teacher at Ebenezer Academy, Honduras, Spring 2005
"I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to complete my student teaching overseas. I loved the school, my coworkers, the students, and the culture! Though the distance from home was difficult at times, it was a very worthwhile and rewarding experience."
-Sarah Hubbard, student teacher at George Washington Academy, Casablanca, Morocco, Spring 2004
The Lord really provided me with a solid group of friends to hang out with. I was worried I would be very lonely for 8 weeks, but the Lord blessed me with so many wonderful people! I also loved working with my kids and seeing them grow in the 8 weeks I spent here. I will miss all of them dearly!
I have learned that I am well prepared to teach and don't need to doubt myself. I have been taught how to teach effectively and should have more confidence when I begin to teach in a new place.
What life lessons have you learned? How has your life changed? In what ways has your perspective on life been changed?
I continually saw how the Lord meets the needs of His children. The Lord not only met my needs while in India, but I also saw how He provided for people around me. It was neat to see the Lord move in the lives of those around me. For example, there was a week where I was missing Tennessee life. That week, a student's parent sent me a letter. She and her husband both graduated from Union. They had me over for dinner a few times and it was a blessing to develop a friendship with people who have Jackson roots and know some of the same people.
Even though I have always considered myself a patient person, India requires more patience!
My type A personality has definitely been stretched. I have been to other countries before and had to practice flexibility. But I feel as if India requires extreme flexibility and loads of patience. I feel as if I do not get thrown or stressed out by circumstances as much anymore.
I have been challenged with the amount of extreme poverty that I have seen. The things that I have seen I will never forget. These images will forever impact how I process the American dream. Being in India really puts things into perspective when it comes to wants and needs.
(International student teaching) has confirmed that I am supposed to be a teacher. I would love to come back to India and teach one day, or at least teach internationally at some point.
I love the community that surrounds the international school community. I never imagined that I would enjoy spending time with the other teachers, but I really do.
My cooperating teacher is great. I ended up spending spring break with her family and another teacher about my age. It is different to know the teacher outside of the classroom.
(During my international student teaching, I learned that…) Friends are the best, and true friends will keep in touch even though they may be continents apart. It's hard to make it without friends, and it's even more difficult when there aren't people around you who want to be your friend. I don't know if that counts as something I learned about myself, but I suppose you could say it's something I realized about life. We weren't meant to be alone (spiritually or socially).
I've better learned how to deal with not being busy. I am not good with quiet time. I'm the girl who takes a full 18 credit hours and works at least 20 hours each week. I never stop, and I like it that way. I honestly prefer to be busy, because I view a full schedule as being productive. Not working has taught me how to have free time. The main problem is that usually I spend what little free time I have with friends. Here I don't have friends. Therefore, I've had a lot of quiet time, and I've had to learn how to rest.
"I’ve hit my halfway point here in Tanzania and I had something incredible happen today. I probably could wait until I got back to tell you, but it’s just too exciting and I felt that the Education program at Union could be encouraged by it.
I had my second observation today by my supervisor. He is a very business-like man. I think he is a wonderful principal and he loves what he does but he can be a little intimidating to teach in front of. Any time he observes the other teachers here, we all get a little nervous. Basically, he is famous for stopping your lesson and interrupting it if he finds it unsatisfactory. HOW NERVE RACKING!!!! I realize that this is mainly because he comes from the British system of teaching.
The lesson he observed today was about what plants need to grow, and I worked really hard on it. However, I wouldn’t say that it is the best lesson that I have ever created. I taught the lesson and he was kind of scowling in the back, and I got EXTREMELY nervous. I felt like the lesson went great, but maybe I was wrong?!?! However, he never interrupted me so I just kept teaching. Eventually, he left the room and I was trying to figure out why he left in the middle of my lesson! During lunch break I met up with him to discuss my lesson. I wasn’t sure what to expect.
We sat down and he said these words, "Well Amanda, I have been a principal for a long time and I have been observing the other teachers at this school for a while now, and quite frankly, your lessons are superior to many of theirs, and all of them have been teaching for at least 3 years longer than you. I just want you to know that your University trained you EXCEEDINGLY well, and you have a job here if you ever feel the Lord leading you towards Tanzania in the future."
Dr. Myatt! I couldn’t believe it!!! Those were honestly the last words I expected to hear come out of his mouth. Therefore, now I have some praying to do. Haha! I just wanted to share that because I know that I am only a good teacher because of God’s grace and because of the amazing Education classes and professors at Union.
Thank you so much for your support of me and allowing me to experience this. It could be, literally, changing my life.
"Preparing Teachers for the Classrooms of the World" is far more than a catch phrase. It is a reality of Union’s Educator Preparation Program.
In Spring 2003, junior Sarah Hubbard approached Dr. Dottie Myatt about the possibility of student teaching in an international setting. Dr. Cynthia Jayne, Director of the Institute for International and Intercultural Studies, had recently visited George Washington Academy, an American school in Casablanca, Morocco, and highly recommend that we pursue placement there. GWA was most willing and eager to host Sarah for the full semester and placed her with a fourth grade teacher and with a teacher who taught seventh and eighth grade science and history. Sarah was on her way!
The next year, Tiffany Glaze requested to be placed in Honduras. Union had a connection with a family serving as missionaries in Honduras. Through that connection, Tiffany was placed at Ebenezer Academy for the last half of the semester of student teaching.
When several more students expressed interest in international student teaching, Dr. Myatt researched organizations that place international student teachers around the world. Union’s Educator Preparation Program decided to join the Christian College Teacher Education Coordinating Council which is affiliated with Interaction International. CCTECC had 16 member institutions including Anderson, Biola, Taylor, and Wheaton. Student teachers placed by CCTECC are required to attend the Pre-experience Orientation (PEO) held in Indiana the semester before student teaching. The PEO provides invaluable information about living and teaching in other cultures and provides the opportunity for student teachers from several Christian institutions across the country to meet and interact.
Since 2004 when Union placed its first international student teacher, seven other student teachers (Tiffany Glaze, Rachel Cazalas, Sarah Herzog, Bonnie Duffield Mlalazi, Alaina Bare Holland, Lydia Bond Barnes, and Ashley Diehm Fern) have been placed in Honduras, Israel, Uganda, Ireland, Costa Rica, and Ecuador.
In spring 2011, Amanda Baldwin, elementary education major, will be student teaching at Haven of Peace Academy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Kelsey Samples, music education major, will be student teaching at the International Academy of Beijing, China.