ALBION -- Five Albion College students will start their new year en route to France, where they'll learn how to be better teachers.
This is the second year the small college has sent a team of education students to Noisy-le-Roi, a small city about 16 miles west of Paris. The course, worth half of a credit, is meant to give education students a glimpse of foreign culture, to bolster their own stateside teaching and to show the students how another nation educates kids.
Departing Jan. 1 and returning Jan. 15, the college troop will stay with host families in Noisy-le-Roi, Albion's sister city, and spend time observing classroom instruction in a French middle school. The students -- juniors Kyle Henry, Helen Craig, Abby Moore, and Courtney Flook and senior Dan Willenberg -- will also give brief lessons to French students on American culture.
Moore, a 21-year-old Lakeview High School graduate (and daughter of Lakeview Board of Education President Kathleen Moore), said she prepared a lesson on camping. Other students' lessons would cover everything from Amish culture to American jazz. Students are required to write essays comparing the two nations' cultures when they return.
"I've never been outside the U.S. or Canada, so I'm really looking forward to experiencing another culture," Moore said. "And I want to see what this can bring me as a person and bring me as a teacher as I'm preparing to go into a classroom and have a classroom I'm teaching."
The students also will tour Paris.
Writing on the Albion College website, Henry said the trip was "all for the sake of learning and growing as global citizens."
Moore said each student carries with him or her different hopes for what they'll take from the experience, but said she wants to focus on the relationship between French students and French teachers.
"I just want to see and, hopefully, it will help me decide the kind of relationship I want to have with my students," Moore said.
Justin A. Hinkley can be reached at 966-0698 or firstname.lastname@example.org.