Although six weeks is a relatively short amount of time, there are so many lessons I was able to take away from being in Bangalore, India at Canadian International School. I have also come to a few realizations.
The first major realization I had is that I now know that I want to become a teacher. During the first week of the internship, we had to share a bit about ourselves and I remember clearly stating that I was majoring in psychology, minoring in Spanish and thinking of going into occupational therapy. During the internship, I had a bit of a stressful period because I realized that the plan I had did not align with what I really wanted to do. Needless to say, by the end of the internship I knew that I needed to switch paths which is why I am now in the School of Education.
Each person I met during my time in Bangalore also taught me a lesson, some small and some big. One person that had a large impact on me was our mentor and Contextual Learning coordinator, Tamara. During the six weeks Tamara taught me so many lessons probably without even realizing it. Through example, she showed me the importance of passion about one’s work. It was obvious that her identity as a teacher is integral to who she is and that she cares deeply about her students and the way in which she is impacting them. I found this to be very inspirational and something I hope to achieve one day.
Being in a professional work environment also taught me how to work with a variety of personalities. The planning aspect of our job was very collaborative and in order to get the best finished product, we learned to draw on each other’s strengths. The rule “fake it ‘til you make it” was also very applicable to these six weeks. Being in a completely new country and school with the expectation to take an authority role in a classroom is a pretty intimidating task. I learned that the more I faked my confidence, the more real it became.
Special shoutout to Madalasa and Cindy, the other two interns, for not only always being there to laugh with after a long day but for embracing the period of growth and change alongside of me. Another shoutout to the Opportunity Hub for connecting with such a great school and providing the opportunity for UM students to travel to the other side of the world. I cannot express my gratitude enough to everyone I met throughout this internship for creating such an impactful experience.