♦ How did you connect with this job
♦ What attracted you to this position?
♦ What are the most gratifying aspects of your job?
♦ What has been/was your biggest challenge as a first-year teacher?
♦ How did your time at GCC prepare you for the teaching field?
♦ What advice would you give to a current
pre-service teacher in order to better prepare for his or her future classroom?
♦ What job search tips would you give to GCC students?
♦ What are the challenges and rewards of teaching in another culture?
♦ What are the challenges and rewards of living in another culture?
My longtime friends and missionaries told me they were looking for help
with a new school they were opening in Honduras. When I felt the call
of God to pursue the opportunity, I found it was the perfect fit.
I never wanted to be an educator confined to one classroom. The
potential of being the director/principal of a small school energized me
because I could see my creative problem-solving skills from my masters
being joined with my strong education background from Grove City.
I love seeing the change in the students and the families that are part
of our school. Because we are a Christian school, each teacher pours
Christ's love into each student, and that love has transformed lives of
individual students and whole family units.
Just as with my first year teaching, my biggest challenge in my first
year as a director was behavior management - deciding what my
expectations were for students and teachers, and being firm in my desire
to have those expectations met.
The education program at Grove City gave me a tremendously strong
foundation in many realms of education - from the theoretical to the
practical. I remember one project for Dr. Johnson's class where we had
to design our own early childhood classroom and program. At the time, I
thought it was one of those "never-use-in-real-life" type projects, but
little did I know that I would be asked to design and implement a Pre-K
and Kindergarten program for Honors Academy just a few years later. I
even brought my old notebooks from my GCC education classes to Honduras
with me and I refer to them from time to time.
I would tell them to not shy away from the challenges. Also, to keep a
positive attitude. Believe that you will have a successful time
teaching and God will make it so.
Explore all opportunities, but most of all, listen to God's voice and
ask for His direction to guide you.
Working at a bilingual, bicultural school has many challenges. There
are differences between pedagogy of teachers, expectations of parents,
language knowledge of students, and the list goes on. I even have to
translate my own staff meetings because I have both Americans and
Hondurans on staff. However, my heart has always been drawn to know
other cultures and it is a pleasure to learn to see the world through a
different set of eyes...those of my students.
I sometimes get worn out communicating in a different language, and I
also become obstinate assuming that my "American" way of thinking is
better. But being out of my comfort zone has taught me to rely on God
in a brand new way. I also love the heart of the Honduran people...and
the food is amazing too!
More information about
Mary Beth's graduate school experience
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