Upon coming back from my internship in India. I came to a couple of realizations which I thought were important to share.
The one thing that stood out to me was that I had never before thought of going into education prior to doing this internship. I knew that it was a hobby of mine, one which fell upon me by chance because I was very much into academics that it just spread into tutoring and coaching younger students from everything academic to extra curricular. Hence, when I found this internship I was drawn to it due to my previous background and prior experiences. However, I went into this internship abroad believing that it would be a good exercise of my aforementioned experience and skills as well as an opportunity to learn from other individuals. What occurred there definitely changed my outlook as I did not expect myself to actually wonder how it would be for me if I worked in education. For that reason I feel that I will explore new avenues in education to see further if it is for me or if it is simply just what it is, a passion and not a career. Either way, I am excited to see where the road takes me as a result of this experience.
As a result of this internship experience I think that I can bring a more wider mindset regarding education to UM and the global community. During the course of my internship I met many interesting teachers and faculty who taught me a lot about the education systems across the world. Each person who worked there had a story living and teaching in several different countries. I used to listen to their stories and learn about how education is viewed and ran in many different places, all which gave me a greater understanding and appreciation for learning. Through this experience I learned a greater sense of communication and adaptation as not only did I have to communicate important goals aimed to develop a child’s future in a different country in accordance with a foreign program but I also had to adapt to the aforementioned foreign program and the new country, which were both not of the same origin. Together I feel that my experience has shaped me to become a more thoughtful and collaborative individual which I’m excited to apply going forward in UM.
Officially, my internship entailed helping out with the Contextual Learning (CL) program at the Canadian International School. The Contextual Learning program is an integrated hands-on approach to learning which connects the classroom learning with the real world through experiential activities. My internship entailed creating lesson plans with our coordinators and my team of fellow interns, facilitating activities and running homeroom for grade 7 students, as well as conducting an individual project of my own origin for grade 8 that upholds and exemplifies that grade’s core value as denoted by the school. During the first half of my internship, while classes were still in session prior to the start of the CL program, I prepped for the CL program with the coordinator and the other interns. Additionally, when I wasn’t working out the logistics for CL, I assisted teachers with any extraneous work that they needed help on which included everything from creating flyers for an assignment to building a water wall for the kindergarten students to play with. However, at the end of the experience I didn’t remember all the tasks that I did but rather the impact of what I did and the impact of the program on me. I was left with a greater understanding and appreciation for the program, along with a deep desire to bring this program to schools across the United States as it really puts emphasis on cross cultural understanding and making classroom learning skills more applicable in real life.
I learned a lot as a result of this experience and I am glad to have been a part of it. I’m even more glad to share it with everyone. For more information about the Contextual Learning program at the Canadian International School (as well as short bios of us interns and last year’s interns!) check out the CL website https://clcisb.weebly.com/.