If you have been following my mini-series about my study abroad trip to Kayenta Middle School, this is my second of three posts. My intentions were to make one post per day, but a lack of internet connection and a crazy busy schedule got in the way.
Aside from teaching in Kayenta, we spent a few days hiking and sightseeing in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. We completed a 10-mile hike at Canyonlands National Park, walked along Monument Valley, played in the sand dunes, and made so many memories on our adventures.
My four days at Kayenta Middle School were incredible. I spent the first day observing my co-operative teacher, Mr. Placke. He was everything I hope to become as an educator: engaging, humorous, and intelligent. The students were learning about slavery in America and triangular trading. On the second day, the students worked on a book assignment, and I had the opportunity to work one-on-one with a few students, guiding them through each question. This was the first time I had interacted with students in a classroom, and it went much better than I expected. On the third day, I had the chance to lead the class introduction, which was a bit intimidating at first, but Mr. Placke guided me though. On the last day, the students taught me about their Navajo culture, traditions, and games. It was so fascinating to see the students becoming our teachers for a bit, sharing knowledge about their own way of life.
My four days in Kayenta flew by, but the knowledge and experience I will take away will stay with me forever. I could spend post after post reflecting about my experience, but I will keep it short and simple; if you have the opportunity to do a study abroad trip of any length to any location, take advantage of it. Just go!