The clapping game (not really sure what it’s actually called) was a huge hit in the elementary school we worked in during our time in Scotland. This game is a simple elimination game where everyone standing a circle and takes turns slapping the hand of the person next to them while signing a song that goes “down by the bank of the hanky panky where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank…” and so on until its ends with a “5…4…3…2…1” and whoever it lands on is out. I played with the children the first day at recess and probably played it 100 more times that week. I had learned this game while working summer camp as a way to keep campers engaged while waiting in lines or as a time filler. Being able to share this with the kids in Scotland was a reminder that even though these kids lived in a different country they really weren’t that different.
The Youth Engagement in Agriculture study abroad program is open to all majors and that is how I, an agribusiness major, found myself in an education study abroad. In the weeks leading up to the trip, I was extremely anxious about how my lesson plans would go and if the kids would react well. I have only worked with kids in a camp setting and I was unsure of how to translate the skills I had learned in that environment into a more educational one. On the first day of Troqueer school in Dumfries, Scotland I learned that I was going to be just fine. My first lesson was with our version of 4th/5th graders and I remember after using attention-getters I had learned at camp I realized it wasn’t all that different. Similar ideas of getting kids to work together, teaching them about a topic and most of all having fun were present in the classrooms.
If you are worried that you are not prepared to teach or have no skills on how to teach rest assured this program is still for you. The kids are so well behaved and the teachers are extremely helpful in the classrooms, but most of all you are from another country to they automatically are interested in you. These kids are excited to hear what you have to say and whatever experience you have working with kids will be enough to qualify you for this program.