Social studies teacher Garron Lamoreau is happy to be back in his Butte Creek classroom after taking a two-year leave of absence to teach at the International School in Panama. Lamoreau shared some thoughts about his Panama experience.
Q. Tell us about your experience living and teaching overseas.
A. The best part about living overseas is experiencing a new country and culture. Panama City is a really big, modern city on the Pacific Ocean, but you can drive an hour to the Caribbean and find sleepy Spanish colonial towns.
Q. What was the biggest surprise about your travel experience?
A. The biggest surprise was how modern Panama City is. It has glass skyscrapers, huge malls and pretty much every restaurant and retail store that can be found in the states. There’s a lot of money because of the Panama Canal, and the city is the Latin American base for pretty much every major multinational company. At the same time, there is still a lot of poverty and pretty poor infrastructure. So you’d see Ferrari’s driving on streets full of potholes, and garbage in the streets in front of luxury apartment buildings.
Q. What was it like to teach in Panama?
A. I was teaching at an international school which was interesting. The students were mostly children of executives for companies like Nike, Under Armor and Samsung. One of my students was the son of the president of the country!
Q. Have you brought back any teaching ideas from Panama?
A. I went through a lot of professional development on formative and summative assessments that I’m trying to implement here, and I also did a lot of work on leveling lessons and assessments for students at different levels.
Q. How does it feel to be teaching back in the United States?
A. I definitely feel lucky to be back here. I missed the students and families at Butte Creek a lot the last two years. The International School of Panama didn’t have the sense of community we have here.