Austin Elders METP Study Abroad travel blog

I learned a lot throughout this trip to Calgary, Canada. Coming here was a once in a lifetime experience, and I will always be grateful for Mississippi State and the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program for making this trip possible. I learned a great deal during this visit to Canada, and I hope that I can use the tools that I have been given while on this trip to become a very effective teacher in the classroom. I believe that all of the schools had great qualities that could help our schools in Mississippi perform at a higher level. Even though I know it will be difficult, I hope to use the knowledge I have gained and attempt to implement some of the tactics these schools used, so I can make a difference immediately. Many of the tactics that the schools we visited implemented on a school-wide scale to try and better the academic success can also be implemented at a much smaller level even if the school does not decide to do it as a whole. For example, the Focus classes in the schools in Calgary were done by every student and teacher, but if a teacher in Mississippi is on the block schedule, he or she can carve out 20 minutes once a week to help students with the topics they are struggling with. I also really liked the collaboration among teachers in most of the schools we visited. Each teacher is a valuable resource and brings something different to the table, and the level of communication that was displayed in these schools helped each teacher to maximize his or her effectiveness in the classroom. By bettering my communication skills, and attempting to communicate and collaborate with other teachers, I can use their knowledge to benefit my students and my teaching overall.

Not only did I learn things about the educational system while on this trip, but I also learned many things about my peers who experienced Canada with me. During the trip, I made new friends, and I strengthened friendships that I already had before coming on the trip. I believe that the relationships that we have built with each other will help us to be better educators in the future. I feel comfortable talking to every person that came on the trip with us, and I believe that will be important as I go into the beginning of my career because we can all help each other as we get started. By collaborating with each other and discussing different issues that arise during our first few years teaching, we can make the transition from student to teacher much easier. I am very thankful for all of the Mississippi State faculty and other students that went on this trip because I know that they will be very helpful to me in my future, and I hope that I can be helpful to them as well.

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