One thing this trip helped me with beyond all else is really make me so sure in my passion for education. Working with the students and getting to talk with them, learn about them, learn with them. One of my favorite things to do was, after school got out, play soccer with the kids as they waited for their families to pick them up from school. Somedays the kids would stay for hours, having asked their parents to get them later. It was always so much fun and I feel as though me and my group member, Rishabh, really bonded with the students. During the school day we had fun, too. The kids, who at first were too timid to speak English with us, were excited to engage, add to conversations, and answer questions. It was so amazing to see them transform over our week spent at each school.
I learned so much from each student. We worked with a deaf student, a dozen students from families of 5 siblings or more, a few students of color, a student who was willing to open up about his queer identity, students who the teachers told us would be trouble makers (who often times seemed like they just needed more support), and more. Each student brought their own experiences and needs to the classroom and were so open to a group of strangers. It was such a special, rewarding, and educational experience. I have email pals now of all ages from all over Poland. I wish very much to return there to teach someday after I graduate.