Hej from Malmö!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

"and so the adventure begins"

Chandler, Hailey and I left for our February adventure late Saturday afternoon. Our plane ride was nine hours to London. In London, we had a four hour layover to fuel up on some breakfast and move our legs. We took some very important Flat Stanley pictures. All three of us did a Flat Stanley lesson with our classes back home before leaving. I created my own Flat Stanley with my school's logo but also brought my student's Flat Stanleys that they created along for the journey. My goal is to take pictures with them throughout the trip and send them to my class as a way to stay connected! From London, we flew into Copenhagen, Denmark on Sunday afternoon. Our bags seemed to come out last  at baggage claim. One of the most nervous feelings in the world is waiting to see if your bag made the flight. Finally, we saw Chandler's bags, then mine, and lastly Hailey's! We were 6/6 on the bags and ready to head to Sweden!

 It is a short train ride from the airport to Malmö. Our program coordinator, Matts, met us as we got off the train at the station. Matts took us to our hostel, that we nicknamed Camp Malmö on the plane, not knowing if the quality would be good or bad. The hostel has succeeded our expectations, and will be a perfect home for the next few weeks. We ended the night walking around our new home while looking for dinner. There is quite a lot of food variety in Malmö! We called it an early night, after some much needed showers. At this point we had been awake for over 24 hrs between all the travel. Safe to say we slept soundly Sunday night! 

*feel free to judge the luggage situation*
In our defense, sweaters are bulky! 

Monday, was our first day at Malmö International School. They had us arrive a little bit after school started. The principal was there at the front to greet us and take us to our classroom. All the doors need a key to open, so we got keys to the school on our first day! Nothing special to them, but something that would never happen back home. 

I am placed in PYP3 (Primary Years Program). The students are the same age as third graders back home, but the learning level would be considered second grade. My teacher explained that students do not start school in Sweden till they are 6 or 7. Most children go to preschool before, but the majority of time it is all play.  There are 16 students in my classroom from a variety of countries. Most of their names are actually common in America. I have a Yasin and a Noah in this classroom and I also have a Yassin and Noah in my classroom at home. A handful were born in Sweden. A few of the students have one American parent. One girl's dad is from Houston! Most of them speak more than one language, but English is spoken at the school. The students have a cubby room where they keep their winter gear. They come to school all bundled up in snow suits and boots. In the classroom, they wear slippers or crocs. This way the classroom does not get dirty from their boots. They have two, thirty minute breaks where they get to play outside. They have a lot more freedom during recess time than in the US. They are highly encouraged to climb the trees, which I love! Back home, this would be considered a major safety hazard. "Mindfulness" is in the daily schedule. This is a time for students to relax and wind down from their learning. There are a variety of activities that they do during this time, but on Monday they colored while listening to meditation music. My school that I am student teaching in back home, is big into different breaths. I am excited to share some of these "breaths" with my students in Sweden during this "mindfulness" time. 

The school day ended at 2:30, and we walked to grab a coffee. We chatted about our day and the similarities/differences we see in our classroom here vs. our classroom back home. We then decided to walk to a dinner recommendation from one of the teachers at the school. The place was more in the city center of Malmö, so it was a nice walk seeing new sights! I find Malmö (and the school), to be very peaceful and relaxing. People do not ever seem to be in a rush like back home. We have been impressed with how clean the city is, and that there is not an overwhelming amount of people. We went to bed feeling satisfied with our explorations of the day. 

#views for days 

Ask Chandler or Hailey, but I was weirdly obsessed with the pattern that the frozen ice made. To me it is so "imperfectly perfect?"

Tuesday, was our first full day at the school. We left our hostel early enough to grab a pastry and coffee before school started. Surprisingly, I have not been putting on all the warm clothes that I brought.   I quite enjoy the cold while walking outside! While we had our keys to get into the school, we still had some trouble getting in. Thankfully, we have made friends with the custodian, also named Matts. All the other staff have been friendly and welcoming as well! Though, most people think we are from Mexico for some reason. We are not sure why this is a thought, but Hailey and Chandler joke that it is because of my looks. My classroom teacher is named Gianna. She is American, but has lived in various places due to her dad being in the military. She met her Swedish husband while in college in Florida. She has already been a great resource for all of my many questions! We talk a lot about the similarities and differences in Sweden vs. America. There is a teaching assistant, Sarah, for a SPED student in my classroom as well. She is also American and went to college near DFW. It is a small world indeed!

Some stair inspiration! 
*read from bottom to top*
"Yes! I did it!"
"I can do it!" 
"I will do it!"
"I'll try to do it!"
"How do I do it?"
"I want to do it!" 
"I can't do it!"
"I won't do it."
"Which step will you reach today?"

Before lunch, my class had "Maths" and "Language." Since my teacher is American, she introduced the word "dozen" to my students. They all seemed to think the meaning was "doesn't" but my teacher then explained the true meaning. By the end of math, they were using it in conversation and on their worksheets. After lunch, Chandler and I have the same break. We checked out a cafe close by the school for a afternoon coffee. Easily to say, the teacher breaks in Sweden are much better than the teacher breaks in the US. After the break, I did a little presentation about myself to my students. It was fun to share about where I come from and answer the questions they had. Of course, I shared about TCU and taught the horned frog hand sign. The students ended the day by working in groups to finish up their Google Slides presentations over different transportations. 

Break with a view! The glass dome is a train station entrance and the building behind it is a church. Matts, the program coordinator said he got baptized there. 

Can I get a Go Frogs?

Group work with a view! 

After school, Chandler, Hailey and I ventured to a new cafe where I am wrote this blog post. Safe to say, my caffeine intake is drastically higher here than in the states. We found a burrito place for dinner and our Texan hearts (and stomachs!) were filled. 

Loving this long, family style table! 

"Fresh. Happy. Mex"

I am loving Sweden so far and I am excited for the next few weeks filled with meatballs, pastries, and cappuccinos! 


1 comment :

  1. I love your blog.......I am so proud of you my Princess, KayLeigh!


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