Gaining Teaching Experience in Poland: Certificate Students Are Ready to Teach

Five students in the Certificate in Teaching English (CTE) program at The New School recently returned from Wroclaw, Poland, with newfound confidence, competencies, and a sense of community. Every summer since 2004, The New School’s English Language Studies department, in partnership with the International Institute for the Study of Culture and Education at the University of Lower Silesia, offers CTE teacher trainees the opportunity to fulfil the teaching practicum requirement through a supervised and supported teaching experience abroad. New School Certificate trainees teach an intensive three-week English course to students, staff, and faculty of the University of Lower Silesia as well as the local community. This summer, 80 students of English were enrolled in the five levels of instruction.

Participating in the New School Poland Teaching Practicum was one of the most difficult tasks I have ever taken on,, said Barbara Riddle-Dvorak, CTE’10. The learning curve as a teacher is intense, but the staff in Wroclaw are on hand every minute to guide and help, and the town is delightful and rich in history. But the crown jewel of the experience had to be the students, motivated, appreciative, hard-working, incredibly well-informed, and sweet. I only wish I had started on the ESL path years ago.,