The Orbiter

International teachers bring pieces of the world to Streetsboro

Cassie Lobb, Reporter

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Shomshad Begum, from Bangladesh, and Juan Sanchez Marquez (Antonio), from Mexico, are the two international teachers who left their countries to experience education in Streetsboro schools.

Begum and Sanchez have been here for two months. Both are teachers in their home countries, but Sanchez is actually also a mechanic.

Begum had not been out of the country before this, but said she is enjoying every bit of her trip to the United States.

“I was scared to come here at first because of the election and what I’ve heard long ago about Americans considering all Muslims ‘terrorists’,” she said.

Yet Begum said she has felt welcome.

“I feel free here. No one bothers how you look, and they respect your opinion,” she said.

Sanchez, on the other hand, had been out of the country two other times aside from this, so leaving was nothing new for him.

He agreed with Begum about feeling welcome here. “American people have a more open mind than most people, and are open to learn and know from the international teachers,” he said.

Another aspect of American culture both international teachers commented on was the eating habits. In Bangladesh,for example, people eat three big meals a day, but Begum said she was suprised that most Americans eat small meals throughout the day instead.

They eat mostly rice and curry, and use a lot of spices in Bangladesh, she said.

Mexico has many “American”  fast food places like McDonald’s and Burger King, Sanchez said, but they do not have a Five Guys, which he has enjoyed here. Dishes with different types of spices and ingredients that add more flavor are more prevalent in Mexico than in America, he has observed.

Begum said she really missed food from her home country at first.

“The United States doesn’t use as many spices,” she agreed. “It feels bland to me. But now I’m quite fine with the food. I enjoy the leaves they eat in their salads. We don’t have that in ours at home.”

Aside from getting used to the food and missing some of the flavors, both international teachers also said they miss their families. In particular, Antonio misses his daughter, and Begum misses her parents.

Despite the sacrifice of time and being away from home, both Begum and Sanchez said the international teacher program is an opportunity to learn and improve teaching skills and learn more about the American educational system.

“Back home, I’m considered one of the best teachers, and then I come here and see even better teachers,” Begum said.

When both return to their home schools, they will be able to take what they learn here and further their own students’ learning.

Their presence here also helps students and teachers learn more about cultural differences and how education differs in other countries.

Streetsboro has been a part of the International Leaders Program for 10 years, and usually welcomes two-to-three international teachers each school year usually bring around two to three hosts a year. Science teacher Amanda Hudnall and English teacher Maria Judd both work as hosts with this program and have also left the country themselves to work with partner teachers.

“We feel it is important to understand people of other cultures to be a part of our global society today,” Judd said.

Streetsboro has been a part of the International Leaders Program for 10 years, and usually welcomes two-to-three international teachers each school year. Science teacher Amanda Hudnall and English teacher Maria Judd both work as hosts with this program and have also left the country themselves to work with partner teachers.

“We feel it is important to understand people of other cultures to be a part of our global society today,” Judd said.

The international program is an opportunity for any teacher who wants more exposure to education in another country. “I feel like an ambassador for America on a small scale,” Judd said. “If we help them understand us, and we learn to understand them, it makes the world a better place.”

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International teachers bring pieces of the world to Streetsboro