I think as time goes on, and I experience more, my understanding and perspective definitely deepens. I think it is so easy to get caught up in what you’re “used to” that you sometimes can forget there are other ways, and during this trip I have definitely had my eyes opened to the world beyond PEI. Also, it has made me stop, think, and realize that there is so much more than what I have been used to, and what I see as “the norm.” I struggled at first with how different I found the school to be, but I feel coming on the end, I definitely have adapted to my surroundings, and did what I could with the resources I had. When I first arrived I was angry at myself for not bringing more teaching materials with me, but as time went on I actually came to appreciate that I didn’t have them. It really made me think harder and use my creative thinking skills. In addition, especially with my teacher trying to learn a lot from me, it wouldn’t have been fair to bring in all these materials and teach using them, when the teacher herself wouldn’t be able to get them, and use them. I tried to find resources that she could have access to too, so when I’m gone she will still have access to them. Overall I feel
like I have definitely gained a better overall cultural perspective.
~Bethany Paynter, 2013 BEd Graduate, travelled to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Sugar Mill Academy
In a world that is becoming more culturally diverse I think it is important to have the perspective of being the minority. Prior to this experience I was always part of the majority and through this teaching placement I have been able to see the difficulties individuals can have when entering a new country. I believe that the students of today need to be introduced and educated on the cultures and places around the world, to learn and experience is to be educated and I believe that educating our students to become global citizens is the first step to end racism and discrimination. This experience will help me to bring strategies I have learned (both professional and personal) to cope with and introduce new cultures and ideas into my future classroom.
~Hailey Butler, 2013 BEd Graduate