Back to School

Kia Ora everyone and welcome back to my blog! That means hello in Maori, which is one language they speak here in New Zealand. What an incredible first week to have here! After the drama of our flights here, Sophia and I made it, safe and sound! For those of you who were concerned with our luggage, the wonderful United ladies got our luggage on the flight so thank goodness.

Zeyna, Myself, Sophia, Michaela, Dr. Hauth making every moment count.

I am not sure if you know this or not, but it is currently summertime in the southern hemisphere! The weather here is about 75 to 80 degrees! It is beautiful and so much to do and see. This week was my first week of student teaching! I have been placed in Sommerville Special School Riverhills Satellite Campus. Sommerville is broken off into these satellite classrooms in different primary (elementary) schools. There are about 5-8 children per class all with different disabilities.

My first day was absolutely incredible. I woke up that morning with a pit in my stomach, so nervous about starting my first day in a totally different country. I had no idea what to expect. I did not know what a classroom looked like, or how strong their accents were going to be, or even if I was going to be able to find my classroom. I got dropped off by my home stay early, went inside, and they pointed me in the direction of Sommerville. I walked into the classroom and I got the warmest welcome you could imagine. Everyone in the classroom was so excited to have me here from the states and even said to me “I am excited to learn from you.” That is such an incredible feeling to know that you are valued. I currently work in a classroom with 2 main teachers, 5 teaching aids and myself. Between the two classes there are 13 students including 3 girls and 10 boys. On my first day, my mentor teacher had me jump right in to start teaching.

First Day of School.

As the week went on, my mentor teacher had me doing more and more. Jumping into different activities and leading the lesson of the day, are just some things I took over this week.

One thing I’d like to mention for those who are thinking about coming over to New Zealand is that when we get here we are not alone. Marymount University has many students who have come here to student teach and actually ended up staying. One student in particular Michaela Reardon, drove out to Howick, which is where we are living, meet us for drinks, and just talked to us about her experience and what we could expect, and what was to be expected of us. She is a great support system here, being so far away from home. That was definitely a fear coming here that myself, Sophia and Zeyna would only have each other but that’s not the case. She is a great resource to have and we are blessed she is here helping us through this process!

MU SPED on the beach.

Life Lesson of the Week: Make every moment count!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to discover The Bay of Islands. It is a beautiful area up in the northern island. It is famous for the hole in the rock island. It is absolutely stunning. One of our amazing education professor, Dr. Clara Hauth, had the opportunity to visit us, her students, the schools we are doing our student teaching at, and our homestay families for this past week. My life lesson this week is to make every moment count. Sophia, Zeyna and I were crammed in the back seat of the car, but that didn’t stop us from jamming to the radio maybe a little too loud or taking the ugliest pictures of each other. The five of us, Dr. Hauth, Michaela, Sophia, Zeyna, and myself made every moment count while up north. We sang, drove up through the farmlands of New Zealand, had dinners together, cruised through the Bay of Islands, watched some dolphins and made every moment count! It was an incredible week and I’m so excited for this upcoming week.

Hole in the Rock, New Zealand

Once again, thank you for reading my blog! Hope you enjoyed the pictures and are not too jealous!

Keri Mignano

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