I cannot believe that I am already halfway done with my time here in Florence! I truly have fallen in love with the city and have already created so many memories that I know will stay will me for the rest of my life.
The main reason why I decided to study abroad in Italy was due to my desire to teach English in a foreign country. So far, teaching here has been a wonderful learning experience. I have already taught three lessons in a fourth grade classroom. I teach every Tuesday at Kassel school, which is a twenty-minute bus ride from the bus stop on my street. Although the most students in the classroom cannot speak much English, they are very eager to learn and are excited about me being there. The teacher in the classroom is very helpful with translating things to the class when necessary, and adjusting my lesson to better meet their needs.
For my first lesson I taught the phrases “there is” and “there are” and I incorporated illustrations and facts about New York City. Overall, I was very pleased with the amount of enthusiasm that the student’s displayed along with their eagerness to participate and answer each one of my questions. The students were especially eager to see the Pictures of New York City and learn more about the American culture. Therefore the majority of my lesson was very successful and beneficial for both the students and myself. However, throughout the lesson I did encounter difficulties when trying to explain directions in a clear and understandable way for both the teacher and the students.
My second lesson was based around the verb “to be” and the American Flag. This lesson was more difficult because the students were not as familiar with the verb “to be” as they were about the phrases that I presented during the previous lesson. This made it more challenging to manage my time during the lesson. I found it difficult to evenly distribute time to both major sections that the teacher in the classroom wanted me to address: the American flag, and the verb to be. However, during this lesson I found myself beginning to get to know my students better, which helped when I planned my next lesson. Also, I introduced an attention getting signal, which helped me instill a system of classroom management. Ultimately, this lesson allowed me to learn more about my class and begin to figure out affective ways to introduce topics and assess their progress.
My third lesson was about possessive pronouns, and also about the American tradition of Halloween. This lesson was very exciting for the students because of the Halloween portion. When I arrived, I brought decorations and pictures of costumes, which the students enjoyed very much. I am pleased that I began the lesson with the section on possessive pronouns, because this encouraged the students to focus and remain attentive, since they knew that the section on Halloween would shortly follow. This lesson seemed to be a great success. Most of the students correctly used possessive pronouns when they participated orally, and on their task-sheets.
So far I am having a very pleasant experience teaching in the Kassel School and I am very excited to continue this journey!