First-year milestones: English-language pre-school education at ELTE TÓK
The 2019/2020 academic year marked the first time the Faculty of Primary and Pre-School Education at Eötvös Loránd University offered a B.A. degree in Pre-School Education for students choosing to complete their studies all in English. Whether they were from China, Iran, Ukraine, Luxembourg or Hungary, the seventeen students in our first international pre-school group have worked very hard this year to take their first steps on the road to becoming qualified, pre-school educators. After the first semester, it seemed the greatest challenge students face would be taking Anatomy exam in English or handing in their portfolio assignments on time…. Like university programs throughout the world, our spring semester has entered the realm of online teaching. Even though we are forced to attend class in our own, separate rooms, we still meet on video every week to share how we are doing, what is new in the world and how we are progressing on that road to becoming a pre-school educator. Even though much of our focus narrows on the closed world of quarantine, through discussions, dialogues and presentations we broaden our perspectives of how pre-schools around the world apply different teaching methods, address the issue of healthy eating habits and hand down cherished cultural traditions to young children. As the semester nears its end, I am incredibly proud of the resilience, motivation and care our group has demonstrated in the face of great uncertainty. Before the quarantine, I used to brag that no matter what happens outside our classrooms: teachers keep teaching. As I watch the progress made by our first international group of intrepid pre-school educators, I see that they have already surpassed me in this endeavor. I wish all of my students the very best on their exams and encourage them to keep on growing and developing. I can’t wait to see you all in September…preferably in person and in our classroom at 40 Kiss János altábornagy Street!