Welcome to the very beautiful Ireland! My name is Amanda Schneider and I am located in Dun Laoghaire Ireland. I am a University of Wisconsin student, student teaching in Ireland for one of my final placements. I am a Dual Major, Elementary Education and Special Education grades 1-8.
I have been placed in a lovely home in a nice seaside community on the East Coast of the island. Although I am a little far away from anything, it is only a bus ride away. I am located next to a beautiful park and a short walk away from the grocery store, bus stop, and the school I am teaching in. Did I mention I can see the mountains from my bedroom window?
I am placed in a private Catholic school called Lady of our Good Counsel, All Boys National School, Johnstown. The school is in a great location, and only a short 4 minute walk from my house. There are a lot of similarities to our school however, there are a lot of differences. The most difficult thing is that they speak Irish/Gaelic. This is a normal class that all the kids have. However, they do not just practice it in this class, They use the language all throughout the school day in every class along with English. The Principal even speaks Irish/Gaelic over the intercom throughout the day! This makes it very difficult to understand what they are talking about. This is due to the fact that the Irish/Gaelic language as no similarities to the English language at all like some other languages do which helps people to learn them.
Another challenge is that even when the students are speaking English as well as the teachers, it is still difficult to understand them. They use so many different words for things and it can become very confusing. For instance, I went to the grocery store to get some peanut butter and jelly. When I asked where the jelly may be located they brought me to the JELLO. Or when a child came up to me asking to get some plaster. I was so confused until he explained that he had a cut on his finger and needed some plaster (a bandaid).
The whole experience is stressful and it is extremely different being pout into a new place without any guidance or knowing anyone. The hardest part is not having friends or family around. It is a horrible feeling being somewhere unknown to you without having any friends around.However, I know with time I will meet people to spend time with (it’s only been 5 days). It is a huge adventurous step and it ha not been easy at all. It is a difficult situation but a part of me knows it will pay off in the end and will be something that I will remember forever (not everyone can say they went to live in another country to teach for a couple of months alone). My hairdryer does not work here and I thought it was the end of the world when I figured that out until I bought a new one. If that’s the worst thing that is going to happen to me, I think this will turn out to be a great experience!
“Is féidir riches Gnáth a bheith goidte, ní féidir riches fíor. I do Soul rudaí infinitely lómhar nach féidir a thógáil ó tú. ” -Oscar Wilde