August is the month of new starts, new adventures and the feeling of anticipation. In the U.S., August means that children are off to start a new year at school with a backpack full of pens, pencils and notebooks; on the other hand, parents are privately celebrating that their children are finally out of the house. For university students, it means it’s time for another semester of tears, stress, and long nights in the university library studying and adding up the money you have left to buy a cup of instant noodles. I would know this as I was, and still act like, a poor university student here in Poland.
Much like our teachers here at Pascal Connect, teachers in the U.S. are getting their supplies and classrooms ready for their new students and the new school year. This time is usually the most exciting time for teachers, though we will admit we have our moments of nervousness as we enter the room full of new students. I will admit that I am no exception to this.
This upcoming year, I sadly won’t be returning to Pascal Connect, but instead will be a teaching assistant at two high schools in a rural village in northern Spain for 9 months starting in September. I will be teaching English with the Fulbright Program, which is a highly competitive exchange program that sends U.S. citizens abroad to research or teach English, and in return supports and helps students from other countries come to the U.S.. One of the goals of this program is cultural exchange, so I will also be teaching my students about the culture and lifestyles in the U.S., and they in return will be teaching me what it means to be a Spaniard.
I will definitely miss my time teaching here in Rybnik and learning from all of you the hardest words to say in Polish as well as what to do in this beautiful country. I will be back for visits in the future for sure! My experiences in this city have not only helped me as an teacher, but have also helped me better understand Poland overall.