Our grantees| Matyáš Jirát| Internship at Open Gate
28. February 2018 Matyáš Jirát

Internship at Open Gate

Through New York flying home and finally I am greeted by my family at the airport of Václav Havel. After half a year in the United States of America, I am realising how I have missed the smell of bread and other Czech aromas. Especially around the time of Christmas where are added baked sweets, cinnamon, and a fully decorated Christmas tree.

Immediately after New Year’s Eve, I am starting at my obligatory internship (Field Work Term – concept, where all students of Bennington College must find one and a half month long internship anywhere in the world) at Open Gate, where Foundation helped me achieve it. After first interview with Mrs. Headmistress Kožnarová I already know I will be in good hands and this will be an unforgettable moment of my professional career. I also need to appraise the work of Mr. Grejták, who took on himself to mentor me and spend an enormous amount of his time, which allowed me to improve in my ability to teach students not in steps but in leaps.

The first week I only went to the other teachers’ lessons and I have been observing their teaching methods and styles while trying to figure out which one would be suitable for me. It was a great opportunity, which has allowed me to grow and apply what I have learned through observation. A pinnacle came when Mrs. Kožnarová and Mr. Grejták have appointed me to teach a six-week course of Astrophysics to the Sexta A and Sexta B. An unexpected honour, but I have viewed it as the best possible possibility to start growing in all skills necessary for teachers. I found incredible, how greatly it complimented my theoretical observing of other teachers methods with being able to apply it practically immediately after.

Working with students was terrific and it has confirmed several facts. How little I know, how much I have to learn and that it is a hard work, rarely appreciated enough as would be necessary. On the other hand, it is a job with immediate reward system, where it is literally possible to see students grow before your eyes in an academic setting and also with a view to future, that a little enthusiasm for stars can help make clearer view of the world, as being bigger and further than only our planet Earth and its current problems.

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