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In what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind experience among Knox College students, Nicole D’Alterio '20 spent the 2019 fall term completing her senior student teaching capstone experience at an elementary school in Germany.
“This experience has helped to develop my German language skills, my teaching skills, and my knowledge of what I want my classroom to look like in the future,” said D’Alterio, an elementary education major with a minor in German. She also has a self-designed minor in writing studies.
D’Alterio plans to teach internationally after she graduates.
“When I first came to Knox, I discussed with the Knox Education Department the possibility that I could student teach internationally as it is more representative of the environment and student body that I would like to work with in the future,” she said. “During my first two years at Knox, I discussed a variety of options, but no Knox student has ever student taught internationally before, and we had a lot of different requirements to consider.”
With help from Knox faculty members, including Joel Estes and Eric Dickens in the Educational Studies Department and Todd Heidt in the German Department, she made the connections she needed to participate in a “school adoption” program in Flensburg.
While there, D’Alterio student taught English to two fourth-grade classrooms in Hohlweg School. She also co-taught and assisted instruction in other subjects, all in German. She and other student teachers led their classrooms for a week when the school’s regular teachers were away at a professional development program.
“At Knox, my education classes and practicum experiences prepared me for student teaching, and my German classes prepared me for living and working in Germany,” she said. “I think that my practicum experiences throughout college are what have really helped me develop my teaching skills and knowledge of pedagogy.”
D’Alterio hopes to teach in Indonesia after earning her degree from Knox in June.
Published on January 21, 2020
"My German has improved and I can now comfortably teach lessons and work with students in German." — Nicole D'Alterio '20