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Interacting With Students Enriched Experience

Mark Myers ’16 – Our week at Phillips Academy was exciting. Both of us had the chance to experience a new environment and Phillips is unique in its setup. Phillips used to have an honors floor, a boys floor, and a girls floor; however, they now just do gender separated classes with the exception of the honor classes which include both genders. I  was with two freshman classes, one male and one female, and two sophomore honor classes. Needless to say, there were many personalities among the four classes. The best part of my experience was being able to develop personal relationships with the students like I had been there all year.
Austin was in a biology classroom with an AP course, two honors courses and a regular biology course.  I took over the AP course for the week and was able to take what I had learned in invertebrate biology this year at Wabash and pass on some information to the students.  To do this I was even able to take the students outside to collect specimens and observe them in the classroom.  The students really enjoyed this experience and it was equally enjoyable for myself.
Part of the reason for coming to Chicago is to experience the urban setting and new cultures. By staying in the hostel where there are numerous people staying from all over the world we were able to make experience different cultural perspectives firsthand. One night, we had the pleasure to meet people from Germany, D.C., and China. We played ping pong with them and just sat around talking. It was awesome to not only experience the culture in our schools, but to be able to come back to the hostel and experience this even more was amazing.
Our time in Chicago was developmental and fun. We both learned many things that we know will help us become better teachers, and more importantly, help us become better people with the great guidance both host teachers provided us.