In life, there are headlines, and there are page 14 stories.
WorldTeach is without a doubt a headline.
You mentally and physically prepare yourself for months or years before making the transition abroad. You put all your energy and resources into ensuring your experience is as valuable, challenging, and altering as possible. You live every moment to its fullest, because you know this experience is rare, unique, and may not last forever. Trips to the market are full of cultural lessons and challenges, and you learn more on a bus than you ever did in a classroom. Your students treat you like a celebrity. Your community does the same, but perhaps with more confusion.
Returning home can sometimes be a page 14 story. While it's wonderful in its familiar comfort, it lacks the luster of the WorldTeach headline. How do you continue the connection to a once-foreign country that has now become a part of you? How do you transfer your WorldTeach experience to a career? How do you stay in contact with the friends you made while abroad? One WorldTeach alumni from American Samoa, Amanda Mills, shows us how.
Amanda Mills is continuing to build upon her connection to American Samoa, back here in the United States. She found out that one of her students, Daniel, from her time teaching at the Nu'uuli Vocational Tech High School in Pago Pago, American Samoa, was recruited by Washington State University to play football. She lives near the university, so she reconnected with him, and met three additional students from American Samoa that were also studying and playing football at WSU.
Amanda says, “I love having this connection with them and seeing them play at the collegiate level. Even though I have just met the other three boys over the past year, I am extremely proud of them all! It is so exciting for me to have this connection with them, and with American Samoa. I attribute my current position partly to my experience with WorldTeach. I do believe that I would not have been able to get an interview, or been hired for the position without my background in American Samoa. I am now the Department Lead teacher for the English Language Development program at Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington. I work mainly with refugee and immigrant students to develop their language skills by teaching English and Social Studies.”
Amanda with Daniel at Washington State University
Amanda with all the football players after the game at WSU
-Amanda Mills, WorldTeach American Samoa Year 2011-2012
If you are interested in learning more about WorldTeach, check out our website at www.worldteach.org. If you have any additional questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 857.259.6646!