Though this trip has certainly had ups and downs, I think the good experiences trumped all the anxiety inducing ones. If I learned anything from this student teaching placement abroad, it's that though every school of every district of every of every city of every province or state of every country of every continent may have a different way of doing things. It's important to remember that each rule, each policy, each decision made by students, parents, teachers and faculty alike are a direct product of the environment in which they take place.
One glaringly obvious difference between what I've experienced in the States and here
in Argentina is the way school and classroom operations work. Classroom management styles, for example, are extremely different. Where Argentina might be more strict on a certain policy, the United States may be more lax, and vice versa. However, at the same time, one glaringly obvious fact is that one way is certainly not better than the other. What works in one school may certainly not work in another, and that's ok. We all have different ways and perspectives for defining success and as long as we get to our definition, it doesn't necessarily matter what pedagogy we adhere to to get there.
The most important takeaway from this experience for me is a newfound reaffirmation of the importance of being culturally relative. Of always keeping a positive attitude no matter how frustrating, annoying or uncomfortable the difference I may perceive as "odd" makes me feel because it is in those moments you learn the most valuable lessons.
Now that's not to say that my time in Argentina and at St. Charles College have only been filled with those types of moments. Even during the easy parts of the day, while having fun and interacting with teachers and students, I still learned extremely valuable lessons. I know I will always keep these lessons with me and continuously use them to to help myself develop into the best possible teacher I can be (as my future students deserve nothing less). Though definitely ready to return home, I am eternally grateful for this opportunity that my family and Western Kentucky University has provided me. I can't wait until my next adventure!