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Showing posts from December, 2014

Tis the season ... to look back and reflect

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It's that time of the year again: time to highlight those precious moments of the year.

Without a doubt, the pivotal event of 2014 was my Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Award.  Being selected  in a very competitive selection process as one of the 171 fellows of the 2014-2015 cohort  has been the greatest honor ever. Since the Fellowship program was established in 1979, there have been 4,800 recipients of the Award -  only 22 of them are Croatians. What's more, I'm the first Croatian K-12 teacher who has received this prestigious award. For me, the significance of this award is twofold. Firstly, it means that my work has been recognized and it proved that I'm on the right track. Secondly, it has provided me with a terrific opportunity to learn, to gain new knowledge, to enhance my skills, to meet new people, to make new friendships and to grow both professionally and personally. I'm spending my year at Penn State University together with 9 Fellows from 8 different c…

Weeks 17 & 18: Chocolate

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There were quite a few things we needed to accomplish at the end of the semester. Even though the Humphrey Fellowship is a non-degree program, we are graded for our credit classes and we have to do certain tasks for our audit and sit-in classes as well.

As part of my Computer Supported Collaborative Learning I moderated three heated discussions happening at the same time on the Penn State new collaboration platform, called "CREATE intelligent collaboration". It was interesting to see how different groups coped with the same problems, how these problems made some of them feel frustrated and disheartened, but also how teamwork helped them overcome issues and inspire them to lead some great conversations.

A blog post on our Class Blog and an Exit Interview were needed for my favorite class of the semester, Emerging Technologies.

For the Humphrey Seminar, I wrote a 5-page reflection paper and took part in a panel presentation on teacher education in Croatia, Mauritius, Myanmar …

Weeks 15 & 16: Feeling thankful

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Teaching languages for me doesn't mean just teaching grammar and the skills, it means much more than that. It includes teaching about people, cultures, way of life, values, history, traditions ...  One of the lessons in my English class is always dedicated to Thanksgiving even though all I know about it is from books, movies and from what my American friends have told me or  from what they have shared on social networking sites. This year, however, I had this exciting opportunity to see what it is really like. And it totally lived up to my expectations. The food was absolutely delicious - turkey, fresh cranberry sauce (my absolute favorite), cornbread, pumpkin pie and many other delicacies.

But Thanksgiving is not really about food, it's about thanking and giving and it brings across  the amazing American hospitality also. The only people who stayed on campus over the past week were international students, but no matter how many of them were here,  they all had a chance to ex…