Student Of The Month
Being nominated and finally selected as Student of the Month isn’t about being perfect. More importantly it is about doing something great or showing extraordinary skills, mindsets or creativity at a time when things don’t go exactly as expected. Our latest Student of the Month, Sandy had quite a different work experience from what she had hoped for. Yet she managed to see the benefits of showing endurance and making the most out of her time in London. This is an inspiring story about the matter of fact that Life isn’t always perfect and predictable:
Sandy, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My Name is Sandy Knobloch, I’m 18 Years old and I live in a small town in the middle of Germany. Right now I’m in my first year to become a nursery teacher.
Where did you have your work placement and how is the organisation structured?
I worked at a nursery school and Children’s Centre in Southall. Their work was very open, they had 5 groups with children from 0 to 4 but most of the time they were all playing together in one room. Only the babies were kept separately most of the time, except for during meal times. The staff was very nice to the kids and there weren’t very many rules, so everyone could do whatever they wanted to. I don’t exactly remember the ratio but I do remember that it was much nicer than in Germany as they had way more staff for less children. I think it was something about 1 nursery teacher to 5 children.
What were the main negative experiences for you during your time abroad?
First thing was that I was not allowed to hug children, I had to keep a bit of a distance even while playing. I felt bad that I had to kind of ‚push them away‘. Secondly, I didn’t really have as much to do as in Germany. My main task was to play and to get in contact with children, but like I said before there were many staff members (4 to 5 at a time) and I guess that’s why I sometimes had very little to do and ended up observing more. The last thing is something that kind of upset me. I felt like the communication from my peers was somewhat over explanatory and not always done in the most polite way. There wasn’t much of a goodbye ceremony on my last day so I felt a little bit unappreciated.
How did you cope with each of them?
I tried to ignore the “impolite moments” and focused more on the nice things they said. I also tried to search for other things I could do because I didn’t want to sit in a corner waiting for the children to come to me. I cleaned the messy area for example. I didn’t really cope well with the hugging issue, I really wanted to still go for it but I guess it is to do with the law in the UK so I had to respect their rules.
How did you manage to stay positive during this time?
Most of the time the children made me happy and I kept in mind that even a bad experience can be positive. Sometimes negative experiences just encourage me to keep going with my training. Because later on I can use this moment to reflect on my skills and how to do it better.
What was generally positive about your time abroad?
I was allowed to get to know 3 fellow participants of the work experience programme: Vivien, Gina and Lisa. Exploring this very big and exciting city together with 3 new friends was just amazing. We’ve seen so many things, but there was still so much left. I was so overwhelmed by London as I had never seen a city this big in my whole life! And I will definitely visit it again some day.
What motivates you to succeed in your career?
Seeing happy children motivates me the most. I would like to assist in their development as well as giving them a place where they can be themselves without someone telling them what they should do.
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