Once Upon A Time…

…There was a little Hoosier girl with blonde hair 20170305_003622and big dreams.  From a young age, she knew she wanted to be a princess.  If that didn’t work out, she wanted to be a teacher.  As she got older, her passion for helping others and spending time with kids grew and grew, as did her love for tiaras and castles.  If only there was a way for this little girl to get a taste of both!

Okay, so I’m not going to England to lure Prince Harry into marrying me or buying a castle (although I doubt I’d turn it down).  I’ve learned that the United Kingdom has much more to offer than just those things I dreamed of as a little girl.  Now, through Global Gateways and IU, I will be able to experience all things British firsthand!  I am leaping out of my Indiana comfort zone and throwing myself into a new culture quite far from home.  Not only will I be living in a town in England with a local couple, I will also be spending my days student teaching in Downview Primary School and bettering myself as an educator, explorer, and person.  I am so excited to bring my Hoosier heart and American dreams to a whole new place.  Hopefully, someday when my English students are asked what they think of Americans, they will think of me, and think of kindness, hard work, and big dreams.  I cannot wait to see what this journey has in store.

20161218_002427I am not under the impression that this adventure is going to be an easy one for me.  I’ve always been close to my family.  I went to college an hour away from my parents’ home and was still able to visit at least once a month, if not more.  I have had relatively the same group of close friends since high school, and typically fill my weekends and free time with them.  I have grown incredibly close to the group of 4th graders I have been teaching in Fishers.  I’ve travel all across America and been to every state but one (S/O Hawaii), and have been to most of those with my family.  I have lived in Indiana my entire life and consider myself a wholehearted Hoosier.  I’m an emotional person, and I become attached to people and places quite easily.  Saying goodbye to my friends, students, family, and the routines and traditions I’ve grown so accustomed to is going to push me.  But what’s life without a little change and challenge?!

Over the 10 week journey I’m about to embark on, I will dive into a new community in a new country.  I will live with people I’ve never met but whom are excited to accept me into their household.  I will teach a new curriculum and learn how to better my future classroom.  I will see new place, experience new cultures, and meet new people.  I will travel around Europe with wonderful family members who decided they wanted to be a part of my exploration.  I will immerse myself in the community I teach in and embrace any and every opportunity!

Sure, parts of this are scaring the bajezzus out of me, but I have so many people who have been providing support, encouragement, and guiding words as I prepare for this new experience.  I want to take a moment and thank everyone who20161014_181415 has done these things! Teachers, students, supervisors, family, friends, travelers, and even past UK residents have all been showering me with support, and I truly value all of you!

So here I am, a little Hoosier girl with blonde hair and big dreams about to follow those dreams all the way to England.  I cannot wait to share this journey with all of you!  Thank you for reading.  Your time means so much to me.

One week left,

Maddie

P.S. To learn more about how I have gotten this opportunity, read me!

“Well, there’s one thing.  They can’t order me to stop dreaming, and perhaps someday… The dreams that I wish will come true.”

-Cinderella

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2 thoughts on “Once Upon A Time…”

  1. Maddie – I am a friend of your Mom and Dad’s – and I am so excited for you and your adventure. I had a similar opportunity when I was 19 – I traveled to England too – spent a summer with a family in Hailsham, East Sussex – not far at all from Felpham. I value that experience immensely and still am in touch and have visited with my host family all these (39) years later. Traveling to and immersing yourself in another countries culture is scary – but very worthwhile – you will learn a lot about yourself as well as the UK and meet people who I hope will become lifelong friends. I’m looking forward to following your adventure and you are in my prayers.

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