Blair Teachers Have International Experiences

by Anna Golovko

Blair is a very diverse school. We have students from all over the world. Students from more than 70 countries, cultures and lifestyles are united under one roof. But students are not the only ones who have experience with different cultures. A lot of Blair's teachers have had experiences living and traveling to another country, something that makes many of them proud.

Stallings photoMr. Stallings, a photography teacher, has traveled all over the world. He has been in Italy, France, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Mexico, Senegal, Cuba, Jamaica and many other countries.

Mr. Stallings has a lot of warm memories about Jamaica, one of his favorite countries. He had traveled there several times. Last time in 1992 he lived there for a month while he was working on an independent photo project. "Jamaica is an island. Industry there is tourism. No tall buildings, and there is 'island time.' Life is very slow," said Mr. Stallings.

Mr. Stallings is also planning to go back to Jamaica for vacation. "There's a lot of fun in Jamaica. People are very friendly and women are pretty," said Mr. Stallings. "Traveling to other countries helps you because you learn different countries, cultures. I think that everyone should travel," he added. "Then we will not have prejudice."

Mr. Swaney is a social studies teacher. He has traveled to many cultures, too. He lived in Guatemala for three years from 1987 to 1990. He was sent by the U.S. government to work in Guatemala.

"Guatemala is very different from the United States. Hispanic culture is much slower and an easier lifestyle. I liked it," Mr. Swaney said. "I'd love to go there again. It's a beautiful country and I have a lot of good friends there."

Mr. Swaney believes that his work in Guatemala was good preparation for Blair. "When you have lived outside of the U.S. you are more sympathetic to students from other countries. You understand what they are going through," he said. He's also glad that he had an opportunity to learn Spanish. "It has helped me a lot at Blair," he said.

Winter photoMs. Winter is an ESOL teacher. She lived in Mexico for two years from 1986 to 1988. She was working there as an English teacher and she was learning Spanish too. "I lived in Mexico City, the capital city of Mexico. It's a big city with yellow old Volkswagen cabs and electric buses," she said. "I loved to eat the food made by the women cooking in the open air- hand made tortillas, gorditas, wild mushroom tacos," she said. She also thinks that traveling to another country has helped her a lot in her work at Blair. "You understand people and you also learn what people think about your own country."


Bohoquez photo Ms. Bohorquez is an ESOL social studies teacher. She went to Colombia every summer for vacation with her grandparents. She lived there for one year in 1985. She also thinks that traveling and living in another country helps to communicate with other people and especially with students. "I remember what it means to change a school. It helps me to understand my students," she said.



Copyright Silver International Newspaper 2001 (This page was created by Junior Max Destine.)