Today I have with me Miss Leah O'Bryan a Middle School English Teacher (7&8)👩🏻🏫, Lover of all things pink💖, basketball coach🏀, and world traveler 🌎. You can check out her Youtube Channel here. During this episode, Leah shares her teaching journey, some tips when you teach abroad, and advice for new and future teachers. Let's jump right in!
Share your teaching story
Leah is from a small town where her entire family works in the medical field. As a young college student, she was a nursing major. After she worked at a summer camp she found that teaching was her thing. She was inspired by one of her colleagues at the camp and switched her major into education.
This was a hard decision for her because she didn't want to disappoint her family but she had to find who she was and teaching was just right for her.
Share about your teaching experience overseas
Leah taught students in Cambodia for three weeks through an NGO empowering youth in Cambodia program. She taught 6 classes for 6 hours a day - the days were long but the weeks were short! Leah taught English speaking skills to students ages 5 through 21. During our chat Leah shares beautiful stories about the children, she worked with during her time in Cambodia.
What did you takeaway from the experience?
1. My intention going into this was to teach students and learn from them.
2. If you can go back again to the same school and work with the students - DO IT! I wanted to come back another year and share with them again.
3. Growing up she didn't have teachers of color, she loved seeing herself in the students she worked with each day. To inspire and encourage them along the way.
4. Leah was able to push her own boundaries as a teacher.
Advice for teaching abroad
Just do it! Get outside of your comfort zone.
If it makes you nervous it might be something good to try.
If you can, go with people you don't know because you can learn more about others and yourself through this experience.
This is a great experience to learn how to interact and work with others who you may not get along with each day.
Work with your mentors as guides and have a community.
Advice for future teachers
Teaching isn't what you do it's who you are
Don't just go through the motions with your teaching career
You may not be changing the whole world, but you can change the world for one child.
Focus on your students.
Advice for first year teacher
Persevere and keep going.
Jobs are out there - make connections and keep going.
The students are there to learn but remember that they are a person too! Get to know your students as individuals.