American Samoa

 

Spirit Week in American Samoa

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa

For WorldTeach volunteers, school spirit is a source of inspiration. It manifests differently at every location, but no experience is quite the same without. Some gather over special foods, some have special ceremonies, and some simply dress up to show out. In American Samoa, it’s not uncommon to have a spirit week to celebrate the diversity of characters in the community. Let Danielle Randolph share with you how the spirit of Halloween takes places in her WorldTeach destination. If you’d like to read more about her experience, follow the link to her blog here – http://bit.ly/1NpCjGN. — Since my school doesn’t have any sports teams they tend to find to have a spirit week anyway. Halloween I guess is a perfect time…

Do you remember how much you like math?

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa

Danielle and company in front of the High School “After those two lessons I remembered how much I like math.” Sometimes, teaching is like getting a second chance at being a kid. As teachers, we get a sense of nervousness, a sense of challenge, and a sense of rising to the occasion. Sometimes, teachers feel like they’re being talked about in the back of the class, but they can’t let it distract them. Sometimes, teachers are asked questions they’re not prepared for, but they can’t call it quits. And sometimes, teachers get the unique opportunity to relearn critical skills, and they’re better for it. Always, teaching puts you in touch with how you became a teacher and instills in you…

Focusing on Making a Difference

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa

2It can be difficult to make it a difference in the workplace when you’re always caught off guard. This week’s blogpost comes straight to you from American Samoa, where Sneha Chiliveru shares with us what it’s like to have some of your expectations met, some dashed away in the first week of teaching, and some, well, surprises! Volunteering to teach abroad on the island of American Samoa can feel like a bit of a dream before the work settles in, but as it does, you learn to be grateful for what you have, grateful for what brought you to this moment in life, and you assume a very natural focus. The students come first. They always have.  Enjoy Sneha’s insightful…

Erika Utter Interview: Returning from American Samoa

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa

By: Shierly Mondianti In this week’s blogpost, I sat down with my fellow intern, Erika Utter, who is our Alumni Engagement intern. Erika recently returned from American Samoa, and I thought that it would be a great opportunity to interview her and share her experience on the blog. Check out the scoop below: (S: Shierly, E: Erika) S: Erika, tell me more about yourself—what were you doing before WorldTeach (WT), what made you decide to start with WT, and why American Samoa? E: I was working in Atlanta, GA at a doggie day care. A friend from college wrote a post about WorldTeach finding volunteers for American Samoa, and I was intrigued. S: Talk me through your day in American Samoa….

Good Grades vs. Good People: Teaching in American Samoa

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa

by: Shierly Mondianti One of the most important skills that a successful teacher needs is the ability to navigate the classroom.   In a wonderful TedTalk by one of our Alums, Jessica Baker (American Samoa ’13) talks about the need for mutual respect between teachers and students. She speaks to how there is “more to life than an A+…than numbers,” and reflects on the need to take a step back from traditional methods of teaching and measuring educational success.  As Jessica soon finds out, the process of learning does not have to be mechanical or straightforward. Sometimes, the student’s unconventional means of understanding is one of the most beautiful, powerful and fulfilling experiences.   We reached out to Jessica to find out…

Serving to Learn and Learning to Serve in American Samoa

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa

WorldTeach American Samoa volunteer Bryan Williams is both a teacher and a National Honor Society adviser.    “You can study government and politics in school, but the best way to really understand the process is to volunteer your time.” – Rob McKenna Last week my National Honor Society (NHS) students went on their first community volunteer trip of the year. The group decided to go to Fitiuta Elementary school and help the clean their campus. We arrived just before noon and the principal said they did not need to work until 1 so they could just hang out in the computer lab and get on the internet. I said “no thank you, we are here to work.” So my students, while…

Down to the Final Month

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa

Bryan Williams on his last month as a WorldTeach volunteer in American Samoa: Things are starting to feel a bit different here in Manu’a. The anticipation of graduation for my seniors is a coming to a head. They can sense that they are about to be freed from the confines of compulsory education. For some of them this means a desperate attempt to raise their grades so they can walk with their classmates at graduation. For others this means time to put it in cruise control. The ones on cruise control are very different in their post-graduation plans. Some students are planning on heading to Tutuila and get a job, some go to American Samoa Community College, and many of…

Yep, That’s a Big One: Updates from American Samoa

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa

WorldTeach American Samoa volunteer Bryan updates us about adventures and competitions on the islands. This weekend Colin and I decided to do some hiking behind our house, past To’o, and last beach. The goal was to get Colin to the cliffs of the Northern coast where you can look West just about all the way to Fitiuta on the other side of the island. As we made our way through the jungle, a relatively flat area that is easy to walk, Colin started pointing out all of the pig tracks. I was acting casual like it was no big deal, but through the half a dozen or so times I had been out there I had seen very few. Then…

Honors and Accreditation in American Samoa

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa

WorldTeach volunteer Bryan Williams talks character, leadership, and biting off more than you can chew.  On March 5th we completed our National Honor Society induction ceremony. We had 5 members, inducted 7 new ones, and at 12 members this is one of the biggest NHS groups the school has ever had. Hopefully all of them will be able to remain in NHS, but sadly I do not think that will be the case. NHS is founded on 4 core values of Leadership, Character, Service, and Scholarship, but my older students seem to ignore, or have not yet been held accountable for, everything except scholarship. Trying to teach character and leadership in a school that is not competitive and does not…

What a Difference a Year Makes

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa

WorldTeach alumna Chaundra returned to American Samoa a year after her WorldTeach service ended. Now, she’s working for the Samoan department of education. I’m back for round two of this crazy island life, only this time I work for the Department of Education in American Samoa. I hadn’t fully planned on returning after my stint here during the last school year, but as the time came closer for me to head back to the mainland, I wasn’t ready to go. I put in my application to get hired by DOE at the end of the school year, and because this is Samoa, they lost my application. I patiently waited to here the exciting news that I would be able to…