Week 1:
Stamping My Passport

International Fellow in Elementary Education

Holy Family Junior School | Ennis, Ireland

October 27, 2018

Welcome to my blog, where I will be documenting my experience as a student teacher in Ennis, Ireland.  You will be provided with a summary of my experiences over the span of 8 weeks, where I will be living in County Clare gaining life experiences and memories as well as deepening my understanding and overall knowledge of multiple education systems.

I arrived in Dublin on Monday morning and traveled by bus, to get to County Clare. Exhausted from the traveling, I settled in by unpacking my suitcases and enjoying a delicious meal (thanks Bríd, my home-stay host!). What a relief to be safe with all my luggage.

Tuesday morning, I went to meet the Principal, Ms. Sharon Dilger. A lovely woman who immediately introduced me to the staff at Holy Family. All the staff members are wonderful and welcoming, making me feel right at home! Wednesday and Thursday I assisted in First-Class which could compare to a first-grade classroom in The United States.

A beautiful mural of students’ hands at the end of the hall. A great way for students to connect and make a “mark” in their school!

Holy Family Junior School is a Green School. This means that every class has a recycling bin, a composting bin and a bin for other waste. The children are well educated on the bins, and use them properly throughout the day! What a great way to help the environment, and teach children the value of separating the garbage. This is something I would like to implement in my own future classroom.

My host school for the next eight weeks- Holy Family Junior School.

Two things that I have taken away from week one:

Independence- I will be the first to admit, taking off, (figuratively and literally) on this journey was a mix of emotions. What could I possibly have been thinking about traveling to another country alone? This is a normal feeling- trust me, I Googled it! Let me also tell you that yes, you will be overwhelmed, but once you step outside and do it all alone once, you will be proud of yourself and feel a sense of independence. Even if it is a little step- like walking around town and grabbing lunch (alone), you gain confidence in your new home.

Passion- for making a difference in helping the growth of children. After meeting students and teachers at Holy Family Junior School, I knew that this experience was the right choice for me. One thing is universal, and that is my love for students and helping them grow. This week I was given the opportunity to teach seven First-Class students a math lesson. This lesson went well, and I was thankful for the opportunity to jump in and teaching lessons in the first week!

Display of student-work in the First-Class classroom at Holy Family.

With the first week of my adventure coming to an end, although I feel as though I just stepped off the plane yesterday, I realize how quickly this journey will fly by. Tomorrow, I will step back onto a plane, passport in hand as I travel to Germany for mid-term break.

Stay tuned and check back for updates on week 2 in Germany.

Tegan Shelton '19

Tegan is an elementary education major from Spring Grove, Illinois.