My time in Milwaukee is coming to an end. What an amazing time it has been! It is time to recapitulate my whole visit now. It is incredible how time flies by when you enjoy the experience. The city, my host family, the friends I have made – I am going to miss all of it.
The last couple of weeks have been quite busy. I have visited Chicago, New York City and the Rocky Mountains. All these places are amazing and worth a trip for sure. But even if the cities had not been great, I would have enjoyed the trips. This is because of the American people. No matter where you are and what you do, it is incredibly easy to get in touch with Americans. People will talk to you while looking around in the grocery store or while standing in line for something. I will miss this overwhelming friendliness and openness. Most of the American people I have talked to are really interested in cultural exchange. This cultural exchange appears in situations where you would not expect them at all. I went to a mall with three other German interns I have in Milwaukee. As we were talking in German, two people came to us and asked: “What language are you guys speaking?”. This led to a short conversation with random people we had never met before. This open-minded personality of many Americans is going to be missed. The amazing friendliness of Americans can also be found at school. Especially during Christmas time, many students make their teachers little presents. In Germany, it is not that common to make the teacher a little present as it is here. Sometimes these gifts come from the students’ parents and sometimes, the students make some Christmas cards on their own.
But I will not only miss the American friendliness. I am going to miss my job at my school, too. Although it was a tough job sometimes, I am going to miss the interaction with the students. I discussed this topic with the other German interns in Milwaukee. The good part about the position as an intern is that we do not have to be the “bad cop”. Our job is to be the connection between the teacher and the students. Of course, there were situations where I had to get loud, too. But I could talk to the students on a different level than my teachers. The conversations with the students were what I liked about the internship. I could learn so much about what students think and feel and why they act like they do. This will be highly beneficial for my future career as a teacher. I have realized that teaching sometimes includes some maverick actions. One of my teachers used to take a boy out of class when he was walking around the classroom and being disruptive. He just had too much energy in his body. This teacher used to go out with him and tell him to do twenty push-ups and squats. Getting some exercise had really helped him as he was not that disruptive afterwards.
More than four months of working at an American school are now coming to an end. It has been loud, chatty, funny, noisy, interesting, helpful, exhausting. But most of all, it has been a real joy. I realized that I enjoy teaching children. It makes me happy to see students being thankful for getting help. My internship has been an amazing experience which will help me become a better teacher in the future. Therefore, I am incredibly thankful for time at Milwaukee School of Languages.