As part of our study abroad in Scotland, we spent the half of the trip teaching agriculture to students in a rural, primary school. Being a first year student, I am still considering a few career paths, one of which being education. So, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to teach in any form, especially agriculture-related subjects!
My first day at Troqueer Primary School was a little bit chaotic as we were all trying to adjust to a Scottish teaching style and the school’s schedule. My group only taught once in the morning and then spent the rest of the day working on building a greenhouse for the school. Our lesson plan was focused on all things poultry including activities on the parts of an egg and what poultry is. I feel like our lesson was geared perfectly for this age group (P3) as the kids were really well behaved and engaged. Although they were mainly interested in asking us questions about America, such as our favorite candies and type of Cheetos. As we continued teaching for the next couple days, I noticed how much more comfortable I became teaching in a classroom and could really see myself doing this as a profession. The children were adorable and so respectful of us as guests. It was such a positive experience and definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip!
One of the surprising elements of the Scottish public school system was how healthy and well balanced their lunches are. The lunches were very kid- friendly and included options such as lentil soup, pasta with chicken and grilled veggies, or hummus wraps as a main meal. The school offered so many fresh fruits and vegetables that were delicious! They had chocolate, strawberry, and regular milk that seemed to be from a local creamery. In addition, they gave all of the children metal cutlery, not plastic. Having a younger sister in public elementary school currently, I can speak from experience that these are not the kind of options she is offered. In the US public school system, children are given a plastic spork (fork and spoon) but no knives. The options for lunch are not usually fresh and consist of things like chicken biscuits and tater tots. There would never be fresh strawberries, grapes, or bananas; Everything is pre-packaged in containers adding so many more calories and unnecessary sugars. Witnessing healthier options served in a public school was so eye-opening. I feel like there are definitely elements of their lunches that we should try to incorporate in our school lunches here!