Home Country: United States (living in El Salvador)
Inspired to pursue a career in education after volunteering with IVHQ in Tanzania in 2011, Megan has been teaching in El Salvador for the past three years. Following her time in Tanzania, Megan graduated from college with a Bachelor of Elementary Education, and has recently completed her Master of International Education. While continuing her studies with K-12 Reading Endorsement courses, Megan is also committed to developing her Spanish skills and hopes this scholarship will allow her to leverage this training to be effective in teaching English as a second lanaguage in Ecuador. “I want to put my education and training to good use, continue to build my Spanish skills, and find a home and a reawakening in yet another place,” shares Megan.
Why are you passionate about teaching English abroad?
I’ve been teaching full time for three years now, all abroad in El Salvador. I love teaching in cultures different from my own because I feel like every day is a growing experience as I encounter new challenges in reaching and motivating students who think, learn, and live differently than I did at that age. I fell in love with teaching when I taught English to preschool students in Tanzania and found how easily I could connect with them, despite speaking different languages. I loved seeing their faces light up when they found a way to communicate something to me!
What experience/skills can you apply to teaching English abroad?
I have experience teaching in Tanzania and El Salvador, working with students from ages 4-13 in various situations. Nearly all of my students are local students who speak English as a second language. I’m a certified teacher and have a Masters in International Education, so I have a solid grounding in the theories in teaching in different cultures as well.
Why do you believe you will be effective in teaching English abroad?
I speak conversational Spanish and have been working with Spanish-speaking ELL students for three years as both a classroom teacher and an English tutor. I’ve lived in both Tanzania and El Salvador, and traveled all over Central America and a bit into South America, so I understand the challenges of being abroad and working in different cultures!
What are you looking to gain from the experience?
My father laughed when at age fifteen I started a bucket list, telling me nobody under eighty is supposed to do that. A decade later, I’ve checked off many items to be proud of: I’ve coached a basketball team to the state tournament, I’ve finished a marathon, and when I was 19, I spent a summer volunteering. There were no words to explain all that I learned through 8 weeks of living outside of my comfort zone. I learned there’s a universal language in smiles, there is an unbreakable part of the human spirit, and that fear of the unknown often keeps us from discovering homes and families on different continents. Now, four years later, I’m living and teaching abroad in Central America. While I love my job, I serve a very wealthy population, and I’ve been craving a chance to give back. I’ve volunteered as a tutor at an orphanage here, and fundraised for them, but I haven’t found the time to really get away and immerse myself in service. I would love to put my education and training to good use, continue to build my Spanish skills, and find a home and a reawakening in yet another place. Last time I volunteered teaching was the summer before my college graduation. Since then, I’ve earned my bachelors and masters in teaching and feel I have a lot more to offer! I haven’t spent much time in South America and would love to get to work in a culture different from the one I’ve been living in here in Central America. I’ve volunteered with IVHQ in the past and met some amazing people, so I look forward to the relationships and bonds I’d form with a new group of volunteers.