Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It's probably too early for a countdown, but that's not going to stop me

Hello there readers! My name is Alyssa and I'm a rising senior elementary education major at High Point University. I have always had a passion for working with kids, and I'm looking forward to seeing that dream come true in just a few years. Another one of my dreams has been to spend time in my absolute favorite city in the entire world. When I was in the fourth grade, I began reading historical fiction novels about Elizabethan England and since then, I've been mesmerized by the country's scandalous and rich history. It became a dream of mine at the age of nine to spend time in England and learn all the history I could.

I'm very passionate about reading. Without my love of books, my yearn for knowledge never would have taken hold of me and I wouldn't be the curious student that I am today. I once told a professor I wished I could go to college for years taking every class of interest to me just to keep learning. Four years of college is not nearly enough to learn all there is to know about the world. Because of my love of reading, I recently applied and was accepted to High Point University School of Education's 5th year master's program with a concentration in literacy. I can't wait to learn everything I can to encourage a child to yearn for knowledge in books the way I do.

After begging my parents to take me to England so I could see everything I'd read and learned about, they finally planned a trip for my whole family to take after my senior year of high school. We traveled to London, Paris, and Amsterdam seeing the most amazing historical sites and of course, enjoying the European shopping. It was an amazing trip! I felt like I learned so much but only touched the tip of the iceberg of what London had to offer me. My plan was to take a semester to do a study abroad program once in college, but I didn't realize just how difficult that would be.

As and education major, it's very difficult to study abroad. There isn't a lot you can take outside of the state you're getting your licensure in without messing up your requirements and making it difficult for you to get a teaching license. Once I realized this, I began looking for summer programs. I came across an amazing opportunity to intern at an elementary school in London, England. It was perfect. Then came the hard part, I had to convince my parents to let me go, find a way to get academic credit for it and apply for a VISA. It has not been the easiest process. But I'm thrilled to tell you, that even though I'm still working on a lot of my requirements, it's all going to work out. I will be working at The International Community Primary School in London for two months. While I'm there, I'm going to be using this blog, to post about what I'm learning, what I've seen, and the differences between the standards of education in the United States and in the UK. As the Common Core Standards have just recently been introduced in the US, I'm extremely interested in doing research to compare them to the British IB program. My research will focus primarily on literature since it will be my focus in the next two years.

I hope you'll join me on my experience as I get ready to go to London and learn as much as of the city's history as I can in two months. I leave on May 31st which as of right now is 52 days away. It seems like a lifetime away, but with the academic year at HPU winding down, it seems right around the corner. I'm so excited that I decided to start my blog 52 days early because I wanted to make sure I had it just right. It will probably be a while before I post again, but I hope it comes fast.

Countdown: 52 days until London

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