Catching up with the members of our Ambassador Teacher Alumni community always leads to exciting updates and reconnection opportunities. We recently caught up with Johanna H., a former cultural exchange teacher from Colombia. Johanna filled us in on what she has been doing since leaving the program in 2019 and reflected on a few of her fondest memories from her time in the United States. Keep reading to meet or reconnect with Johanna.
Reflecting on her experience teaching in the U.S.
Q: What schools did you teach at and when?
A: I taught in North Carolina for five years, from 2014-2019. During that time, I taught at two schools in Johnston County, North Carolina—first at Cooper Elementary and then at River Dell Elementary.
Q: What inspired you to apply to teach in the U.S.?
A: What inspired me to apply was all of the potential opportunities that teaching in the U.S. could bring to my life. I had dreams to study for my master’s degree and travel more and I was able to achieve both thanks to Participate Learning.
Q: What did you enjoy most about your time teaching in the U.S.?
A: I enjoyed seeing how elementary kids could learn another language so quickly and genuinely enjoy practicing their new skills.
What life looks like now
Q: Where are you now? Are you living in your home country or elsewhere in the world right now?
A: After the program, I moved back home to Colombia where I am living in a town called Cali.
Q: Are you still working in education or have you changed career paths? Please tell us about your current job!
A: I’m currently teaching fourth grade and I love it! My school is an American school so every subject that I teach is in English. In my classroom, I am in charge of teaching science, reading, writing, and math.
Q: Do you have any other life updates that you would like to share with us and the Participate Learning network?
A: I am grateful that I was able to be home with my family when we went into lockdown back in 2020. I am also thankful to be back teaching in person in the classroom. This year I presented my first workshop at a conference of bilingual schools in Cali, Colombia. I’ve been able to resume traveling and have visited three new countries. I am also starting a stationery business!
Share 3-5 facts about your time teaching in the U.S. Think about favorite memories, travel experiences, special moments, accomplishments, or other things that happened during your time with the program.
- While I was in the U.S., I experienced snow for the first time.
- I met amazing people from different countries.
- My mom and sister came to visit me and we took a trip to Disney and Universal. We also drove from Miami to Niagara Falls, stopping in each state along the way.
- I completed my master’s degree.
- When I was in Chapel Hill, I ate the most amazing BBQ ribs.
Interested in connecting with Johanna and following her journey? Connect with her on Twitter here.