A lesson Nicole will never forget

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THE school community at Castlefield’s Primary School, Rastrick, are saying a fond farewell to their American teacher.

Nicole Smith from Portland, Oregon, swapped places with Year One teacher Kelly Sykes as part of a foreign exchange programme for the term year.

Now, after 12 enjoyable months Ms Smith is returning home after her European adventure.

“It has been an amazing year and experience,” said Ms Smith.

“I am so proud of my class this year. We have planned a lot of reading and writing together and my children have become really good writers.

“The experience has been a huge emotion of vulnerability but it has been an amazing challenge and great opportunity trying to develop relationships.”

As well as keeping in contact with her family in the United States, Ms Smith has been travelling across the country and Europe including London, Belfast, Paris and Prague and taking in the different cultures.

On the professional side, she has seen the differences in how the education is taught and the curriculums are formed between the two countries.

Ms Smith has been teaching at her school, Deer Creek Elementary School, Portland, for 11 years and has just finished her reading endorsement which is the equivalent to a deputy head qualification in the UK.

The last weeks of term have been difficult trying to say goodbye to her class and the whole school.

“I have loved getting to know my children and the school. I have been saying that with all the different ways of communication these days that I am only a click away.

“I do hope to come back later in the year and pay a visit this way.

“I really appreciate the people for giving me this opportunity. I would also like to thank the head Gemma Elliott, the staff, children and parents for being incredibly supportive and have made this experience worthwhile both personally and professionally.”