Its been a long four weeks, four weeks of being pulled in every direction, four weeks of being flexible, four weeks of cultural immersion, and four weeks with the same group of 20 teachers, professors, and students. We were told about the challenges and differences that we would face while on this adventure, but I think we all overlooked the challenges of defining our roles in this experience.
As an undergraduate student we were expect to wear many hats while here. One hat was to be a student and make mistakes and learn from them and look for guidance from our professors and the experienced teachers.
Another hat was to be a facilitator, we had the opportunity to create a lesson plan with the guidance of an experienced teacher, and complete 3 micro-teachings with this lesson. We were enabled to be the teacher for those experiences, we got to make decisions, and were empowered to create something we were proud to teach and present.
We also wore the hat of a learner. Every day we were trying to take in as much information as possible, each in our own unique way. For some of us that was asking a question at every presentation, for some it was sitting back and taking it all in, and for others it was bouncing ideas and conversations off of the group later.
We wore the hat of a professional, interacting with everyone from classroom teachers to the Vice Minister of Education. We knew what to do, what to wear and how to act. We have been prepared for these encounters both in high school, youth organizations, and college.
And finally we wore the hat of a pre- service teacher, we are all looking for inspirational ideas to guide us in our future student teaching endeavors. Though we may not have our own programs yet, we all hope to one day. We want this experience to shine through in our programs and we want to create more globally competent learners. For many of us this was just another block added to the foundations of why we want to be agricultural educators.
At this point what hat do we wear? Am I an undergraduate, a student, a professional, or a pre- service teacher?
Here is what I know:
We are coming to the end of a successful four weeks and the stress and pressure has gotten to us all. We have all had an off day where we make the wrong comment or respond more harshly then we should. We are only human, it happens, it has happened and we have moved on. Looking back at it all, those comments and mistakes wont be important, they are just another hat thrown into the mix that doesn't quite fit. We will keep pushing forward, and we will rally our spirits and moral and end this trip with a plan for success.
We have worn many hats, and they get confused at times.
But, looking back we will remember...
That this experience has impacted us all for the better. We will all leave this experience with a connection that only we can understand. We all stretched together, we all learned together, and we all juggled the hats and walked the line together, and all that's left now is to cast our line to the rest of the world!