KCS Teacher taking part in overseas learning tour

KCS Teacher taking part in overseas learning tour
Posted on 06/19/2017
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Shane Dagenhart, one of Kannapolis City Schools’ Teachers of the Year, is taking part in an overseas learning tour as part of the Global Teachers to Germany program. The program is sponsored by the Mariam and Robert Hayes Charitable Trust and Go Global NC.

As part of the trip to Berlin and Germany, top educators from all over North Carolina, including Mr. Dagenhart, are getting a first-hand look at German civic and educational systems. Mr. Dagenhart is chronicling his trip through blogs and photos, and we’re delighted to share them here.



SUNDAY, JUNE 25 (Day 9 in Germany):

Guten Abend from Munich,

We have been fortunate to have beautiful weather our entire trip, but today was a wet one! I ventured out to different areas of Munich this morning despite the rain. I was able to visit the early morning service at the beautiful Jesuit Church of St. Michael. The service was great, and the choir was amazing! 

The sun came out after lunch, and I walked down to an area known as the English Gardens and soaked in as much of the sights and sounds of the city as I could.

We had a great Bavarian style dinner at a restaurant called Zum Franciskaner and had a debriefing session as a group that allowed me to reflect more on the program.

This has been an amazing ten days. I have met some great colleagues whose stories inspire me to become an even better teacher and prove that students across our state are being instructed by great educators. And I have met many Germans who are friendly and welcoming people that made me feel at home. I can't thank Kannapolis City Schools, Go Global NC, and the Mariam and Robert Hayes Charitable Trust enough for making this trip possible. Thank you to those who followed my blogs during the trip and I'm excited to be back in Ktown tomorrow night.

One last time - goodnight from Germany
Shane Dagenharthttps://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

SATURDAY, JUNE 24 (Day 8 in Germany): 

Greetings from Munich,

As our program nears an end, I found myself at a day that I have been focused on for a long time. This morning I toured the Dachau Concentration Camp. The experience was powerful, sad, sickening, and impactful. I teach the Holocaust because we owe it to the victims and survivors to learn about the pain and suffering they endured during this horrific period in World History. But today was different. Being here is not the same as watching documentaries or looking at books. Once you go to Dachau, you will never forget what you have learned and seen. We should never forget what happened during this time, and never again can it happen again in this world.

We came back to Munich and walked around the heart of the city. 

I have had an amazing tour guide since I arrived in Munich. Jeff led me through Dachau. Afterwards, knowing I was a History teacher, he offered to take me on a tour highlighting Hitler's rise to power. I took him up on it, and he showed me many locations that I have taught about, but never thought I would actually be in. He was knowledgeable and had a great spirit about him. He made a huge impact on this day. Later on, I tried to soak in as much of the city life as I could. This is such an interesting city full of different cultures and it is moving at such a fast pace. Someone told me it's a "mini New York." 

Tomorrow is my last day of the program, I will enjoy every last minute of it.

From Munich - Goodnight Ktown,

Shane Dagenhart


FRIDAY, JUNE 23 (Day 7 in Germany): 

Guten Abend (Good evening) from Munich,

We left Freiburg early this morning and traveled to our last stop of the program, Munich. We ate lunch at a great Bavarian restaurant at the 1972 Olympic Park.  

We had a meeting at the BMW headquarters to learn about their Apprentice Program. The program begins training selected pupils (typically right after middle school) to take part in the 2-4 year process. These apprentices focus on either the technical or business/IT and some will eventually be hired on to work for BMW. This program has been so successful that is has expanded outside of Germany. There are currently 99 apprentices currently studying at the BMW location in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Not only did we meet with leaders from BMW but also were able to tour the work locations of the apprentices.  

I then walked through some of downtown Munich and it is a really neat place. Lots to see and the weather is cooler here!  

Tomorrow morning we will travel to Dachau Concentration Camp and visit the Deutsches Museum of science and technology in the afternoon.

Until then, goodnight from Munich!
Shane Dagenhart


THURSDAY, JUNE 22 (Day 6 in Germany): 

Greetings from Freiburg! We started off our day by visiting with leaders from the University of Freiburg's Education Center. Freiburg University of Education is the largest of six Universities of Education in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg. I learned about how they prepare their German teachers for the classroom and I am eager to connect with the folks here in the future as I think it would be great resource for my classroom. They are also doing tremendous work at instructing refugees from areas such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan about the German language and providing them with an avenue to continue their education. We also met with Franziska Beyer of Freiburg's Department of Ecology who gave great insight on Freiburg's dedication to sustainability and renewable energy.

We then traveled to the Black Forest and visited the village of St. Peter. The Black Forest is an ancient landmark of southwest Germany about thirty minutes from the French border. It is home to many fir trees that makeup this amazing location that was first settled during the High Middle Ages. Today, it is one of the most energy efficient villages in Germany. The village produces its own energy via solar, wind, and water energy, as well as other technologies.  

I will leave early tomorrow morning for Munich where I will spend the last three days of the trip.  

Goodnight one last time from Freiburg,

Shane Dagenhart 

(Day 5 in Germany):  Good morning from Herrenberg. I traveled back to Stuttgart early this morning to visit Eschbach-Gymnasium. The Eschbach high school is renowned for its use of technology in the classroom and for its teaching of STEM topics. I was fortunate enough not only to meet with the principal but also to tour their campus. I conducted a lesson in the class of Frau Hiller on the American Juvenile Justice System. The students were eager to learn about America, and it was a great experience for me to teach in a German classroom and ask the students questions. I am looking forward to sharing what I learned today with my students next year and incorporate this experience into my lessons.

We then traveled by bus to the city of Freiburg, which is located on the edge of the Black Forest in southwest Germany. I then took a walking tour of Vauban, Freiburg's famous energy-efficient neighborhood in what used to be a base for the French military until after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The people of Vauban have since devoted themselves to living their lives with low energy consumption. Solar panels are on nearly every home and building, and transportation is centered almost entirely on biking or walking.   

I ended the night with a stroll through Freiburg and visited an amazing cathedral!  

Tomorrow we wrap up our visit here by visiting the University of Freiburg and taking a tour of St. Peter, a small village in the Black Forest. 

Goodnight to everyone in Ktown,

Shane Dagenhart

TUESDAY, JUNE 20 (Day 4 in Germany):  

As we left Berlin in the wee hours of the morning we made it to Tegel Airport for our flight to Stuttgart. Here is one last look at the Brandenburg Gate. 

We flew into Stuttgart, a beautiful town in the heart of Europe. We took a great bus tour of the city, lots of history remains ever after the location was devastated by the Second World War. 

We visited with four educational leaders of the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg (Stuttgart is the capital) who discussed with us their education system and introduced us to how they train their educators to serve the students of this state. 

I then walked the city, and it was a beautiful place. They have two old castles, one called "new castle" because most of it had to be rebuilt after the Second World War. I loved the second simply known as the "old castle" as it dates back to the 13th century Middle Ages. There was a great statue of Count Eberhard, Duke of Wurttemberg. He has a great story: Ererhard ran the government here before traveling to Jerusalem and became a knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre and as a firm believer in education, returned here and opened the University of Tubingen (which still thrives today).

We made a stop at the Mercedes-Benz Museum where I had the opportunity to learn the history of the company, its impact on Germany and the world, and see some cool cars! Unfortunately, I didn't buy one! 

Tonight I am staying the night in small town called Herrenberg, which is a little less than 20 miles outside of Stuttgart.  I took a walk to an amazing cathedral that serves as the town's church, was able to catch the sunset, and visited the heart of the small town.  Herrenberg is amazing! 

Tomorrow I will have the opportunity to teach a lesson at Eschbach-Gymnasium school in Stuttgart and afterwards travel by bus to Freiburg.

Goodnight from Stuttgart,

Shane Dagenhart 

MONDAY, JUNE 19 (Day 3 in Germany):
Greetings from Berlin! This is our last day in the capital city, and it has been a day full of examining all the great educational opportunities available for students of all levels in Berlin.

We first visited the JFK School that opened in 1960. This public school serves students from age five to graduation at grade twelve. It was an eye opening experience as American- and German-born students become bilingual in each language, and the school truly is helping to create a great future for the Berlin community as the vast majority of the students stay in the area after graduation.

And the students are doing some great history work, (historical event newspapers and a complete student made map of different Native American groups). 

We then traveled to Humboldt University where we met with various professors and current students.  During our visit we focused on their integration of refugees into their educational programs.  We met students from war torn areas such as Syria and Afghanistan striving at the college level and their dedication to education is making their future brighter each day.  

Tomorrow, we will fly to Germany's third largest state, Baden-Wurttemberg where we will meet with representatives of the Ministry of Education, Research, Science and the Arts, the Ludwigsburg University of Education, and leaders from the Seminar for Teacher Education in Tubingen. We will spend one night in the capital city of Stuttgart become leaving for Freiburg on Wednesday.

Best wishes from Berlin!

(Day 2 in Germany): 

I took a boat tour of Berlin on the River Spree and saw many important Berlin landmarks and buildings.

I then toured a Berlin cathedral (touring the crypt of German kings at the bottom to climbing to the top and walking around the dome).  The day continued visiting the Brandenburg Gate where President Ronald Reagan famously told Mikhail Gorbachev to "Tear down this wall!"

And I ended the day by taking a tour of the German Parliament Building. The experience was amazing from seeing the Parliament floor where the German leaders meet, to seeing old walls of the Reichstag that had been graffitied by victorious Russian soldiers in 1945.  

Tomorrow we will visit with teachers and students at the JFK Berlin School and Humboldt University!  

Goodnight from Berlin! 

Shane Dagenhart

SATURDAY, JUNE 17 (Day 1 in Germany):

We arrived in Berlin at 8 am this morning. As soon as I got off the plane, I was determined to try my newly learned German out on the German Immigration officer. I greeted him with "Guten Morgan" which means Good Morning in German, and he smiled and said the same back—a cool moment!

We have taken a guided bus tour of Berlin, visited remnants of the Berlin Wall, visited the Holocaust Memorial, seen Chechpoint Charlie (check point for US forces during the Cold War), and the location of Hitler's fuhrerbunker. We had the opportunity to walk around West Berlin and take in an African themed festival.  

Tomorrow we plan to visit the Reichstag and further explore Berlin!

Best regards from Berlin,

Shane Dagenhart


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