Week 7:
It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

International Fellow in Elementary Education

Holy Family Junior School | Ennis, Ireland

December 8, 2018

Continuing on the Christmas Concert practice from last week, this week the students and staff at Holy Family are working hard to prepare everything for the concert next week.  The concert features each class: Junior Infants, Senior Infants, and First Class students. The classes go up individually and then as the finale, they all are on stage to sing the final songs.

The students have been working very hard, remembering their individual lines, as well as the lyrics to the songs. It is very important to practice the lyrics of the songs and poems as the students are signing without background music with an accompanied piano.

Post going to the North Pole can be dropped off here!

The junior infants, who I have primarily been working with during my final weeks at Holy Family are getting better each day, and are remembering their places and lines on their own! This is such an improvement compared the beginning of the week. It is amazing what a couple hours of practicing can do.

Junior Infants at Holy Family Junior School

As my days begin to fade away, I have decided to give Ms. Dilger and Holy Family their gifts this week. I have gifted one of my favorite children’s books to the school to share and benefit from, “The Day the Crayon’s Quit” by Drew Daywalt is such a diverse book that can teach many lessons across all subject areas. It can be used in English, where students write a letter from a crayon to Duncan or write a letter from Duncan to the crayons in response to their letters. This book can be used in science to discuss whether the color of the sun is actually orange or yellow and form a class discussion or debate about which one is correct.

I also gifted “The President’s Glasses” by Peter Donnelly to the Junior School. This is an Irish children’s book, based on Ireland’s President, Michael D. Higgins. Throughout this book, Michael D. Higgins misplaces his glasses and needs to find them. I think this is a great book to have available for students to form connections to their President.

The President’s Glasses

I cannot believe that seven weeks ago I was boarding a plane to Ireland. This journey has been extraordinary, and I will never forget the lessons I have learned, the people I have met, the memories I have made and the daily life working in an Irish school.

Global Gateway for teachers offers multiple different countries that you can choose to student teach in, and I chose Ireland for two main reasons. Reason number one being that the main language is English. Reason number two is that it is one of my grandmother’s favorite countries. After being seven weeks into this experience, I am grateful to have my first teaching abroad opportunity to be in a country with many similarities as the United States. However, in the future, after traveling to Germany and The Netherlands, I would be interested in working or living on Europe’s mainland.

My experience abroad has made me have a wanderlust for more travel and culture. I am very open to looking further into teaching abroad again, in the next couple of years.

Stay tuned for final farewells and goodbyes in week eight…

Tegan Shelton '19

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