Home Country: United States
The countdown is already on for Matt Bradshaw. The 25-year-old is set to become an IVHQer in June, volunteering his time on the Bali program but he wants to add to his skills with another volunteering opportunity. For the past five years Matt has worked in various elementary school districts as a school age caregiver. “I have learnt what techniques work for certain students, and also how to adapt rapidly when thrown into a new challenge or situation, much like an experience studying abroad would be,” he says. Working with children has inspired him to continue his own education and he is currently working towards a degree in Elementary Education at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. “If I were to win this scholarship, it would allow me to do the one thing I love to do, teach. I want to break through cultural barriers with students from another country, and the easiest way to accomplish that is by coming together through one thing that is universal in all cultures, language. From large populations to small, language and verbal communication are a part of every society on Earth.”
Why are you passionate about teaching English abroad?
I am passionate about teaching English abroad because even though students from a different culture and I will have many differences, the English language is something we can connect over. If I were to win this scholarship, it allows me to do the one thing I love to do, teach. I want to break through cultural barriers with students from another country, and the easiest way to accomplish that is by coming together through one thing that is universal in all cultures, language. From large populations to small, language and verbal communication are a part of every society on Earth. With that being said, to have the ability to create a bond with students over teaching them the English language, would truly be a rewarding experience.
What experience/skills can you apply to teaching English abroad?
As a native English speaker, there are many experiences and skills that I can apply towards teaching abroad. For the past 5 years I have worked in various elementary school districts as a school age caregiver here in the U.S. These school districts have been in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Although these school districts aren’t geographically far apart from one another, they have been very unique and differed from one another greatly. From the rural countryside to the inner city capital of Minnesota, St. Paul, I have learnt what techniques work for certain students, and also how to adapt rapidly when thrown into a new challenge or situation (Much like an experience studying abroad would be). These experiences inside of the schools here in the USA have prepared me to become an adaptable, positive, and successful educator. All qualities that I would bring with me on my teaching English abroad experience.
Why do you believe you will be effective in teaching English abroad?
I believe I will be effective in teaching English abroad because of these experiences in my profession, and the practices I have received educationally. Currently, I am attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for a degree in Elementary Education. I am a senior in their program and I will be completing my education next spring. My schooling has taught me how to overcome obstacles in teaching, how to write effective lessons for students, how to motivate students, and most importantly, the qualities a successful teacher possesses. Not only have I been taught these practices, but I have also used these techniques inside of classrooms here in the U.S. Due to the hands on experience that University of Wisconsin-River Falls promotes, I have been able to identify what works, and what doesn’t, inside of a classroom. Before I graduate and become a licensed teacher, I believe an experience in teaching English abroad would be another positive experience to help me become a successful classroom teacher.
What are you looking to gain from the experience?
As an aspiring teacher who truly enjoys making impacts in children’s lives everyday, I am always looking for ways to grow as a future educator. What I am looking to gain from an experience in teaching English abroad is to “role reverse” with children from another culture. I want to be the one who experiences this culture shock. I want to find ways to break language/cultural barriers, and connect with students that come from a completely different background than I do. I believe that an experience in teaching English abroad would bring out the best in my teaching abilities, abilities that I will be able to expand on inside of my future classroom here in the United States.