This September, Mark Twain welcomed first grade teacher Najma Cheema. After graduating from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Cheema taught at Woodburn Elementary School. She moved to Oregon last year and has been a wonderful asset to Mark Twain.
“The curriculum here is very well organized and implementable,” said Cheema. “It’s amazing how much progress the kids have made in just a few short months.”
Cheema emphasized the importance of reading at grade level and spoke about some of the inspirational moments in her life that led her down the path of teaching: “When I moved to the United States, I barely knew any English. I still remember the teachers who supported and encouraged me during that time, and how much of an impact they had on my development as both a student and a person.”
Cheema lived in India until she was nine years old. She is fluent in Punjabi, Hindi, and English. When asked how she feels about living in Silver Falls, Cheema laughed and said, “I really like the small town. It’s kind of funny because everyone here knows each other. I still have family in India, so I try to visit them once a year or so. I told my students that when they grow up, they should go visit India, and they seemed to like that idea. Every day we learn a new word in Punjabi.”