When I first applied for the opportunity to study abroad in Scotland, I was very excited to know that part of the trip would involve teaching at a primary school. Considering that my major is Agricultural Education, I love teaching others, especially about topics relating to the agriculture industry. Needless to say, I thought that it was awesome that I would get the opportunity to spread a little knowledge to people from across the world. As the days until I would take off to Scotland slipped by, I became more and more nervous about teaching. I have always struggled with self-confidence, and this included teaching. I was scared that the students would have already learned what I would be teaching about and be bored with the lesson. Also, the thought of getting up in front of a group of kids from a different culture terrified me.
As soon as I met the kids for the first time, my fears vanished. The students were some of the nicest and most respectful kids that I have ever met. My group and I were able to teach a great lesson and have lots of fun with the students. Besides being very engaged during the lesson, the students showed other signs that they were excited to have us visiting. I knew this because of all of the questions they asked us about ourselves and the United States after the lesson. These included, “have you ever been to Dollar General?”, “Do you prefer the chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A or Popeyes?”, and “what’s your Taco Bell order?”
Teaching and interacting with the students was really fun, but I also enjoyed being able to speak with the teachers. They told us about the education system in Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole, and we compared it with what we knew about the American education system. It was very interesting to see that there were some major differences between the two systems, as well as some similarities.
Since we spent several days at Troqueer Primary School, we didn’t spend all of our time there teaching. Before, after, and in between lessons, we helped construct a greenhouse for the school. Even in June, Scotland is a lot cooler and rainier than Georgia, so this was hard work at times. However, it was all made worth it when I saw the students’ reactions as we made progress on the greenhouse. After a few days, our time at the school came to a close. The students thanked us by performing a musical for us. I believe that our group left a positive impact on the students of Troqueer Primary, and I know that I will never forget everything that I learned from them.