Foreign teachers brining new life to classroom Education: Students could be taught about new cultures. - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Foreign teachers brining new life to classroom Education: Students could be taught about new cultures.

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Posted: Monday, August 6, 2001 12:00 am

By Travis M. Whitehead

Valley Morning Star

MERCEDES Three German teachers will bring years of experience and culture to

Mercedes schools.

I think its a great adventure for me to be here, said Michael Wehner of

Leipzig, Germany.

Wehner will teach seventh-grade math at Mercedes Junior High School this

coming school year.

He and two other teachers are part of the Texas-German Teacher Exchange

Program sponsored by the Region IV Education Service Center.

Mercedes schools Superintendent Jesse Gandara said the teachers should give

Mercedes students a more competitive edge.

One of our teachers, the French teacher, actually lived in France for nine

years, Gandara said. Weve never had a French teacher whod lived in France.

So, shes not only a teacher of foreign language, she can teach the culture.

That teacher, Marianne Freudenberg of Dresden, Germany, will teach French at

Mercedes High School.

Our students will be the most important people to us in the next year,

Freudenberg said. We have to prepare the way into their lives.

Freudenberg said she looks forward to sharing the French and German cultures

with Mercedes students.

We have a lot of public transportation, she said. You dont really need a

car. For example, I dont have a drivers license. You can reach one part to

another easily.

However, U.S. cities are much more spread out and Americans are much more

reliant on private vehicles.

Thats why Freudenberg and her colleagues are working to earn their drivers

licenses.

We are learning for our drivers license, she said. We have to pass it

within 21 days.

Freudenberg said she also looks forward to learning many other things.

There are so many things in the American school system I think I would like

to learn here, she said.

Eduardo Infante, assistant superintendent, said the German teachers would

expose the faculty to a different system.

Theyll share with our teachers their experiences and teaching strategies and

curriculum, Infante said. It will bring a different perspective for our

teachers to interact with teachers in the German system.

The district held a reception for the teachers last week at El Nortenos

Restaurant. At the reception, Freudenberg thanked the school district for the

opportunity to learn and teach.

We got the possibility to bring our skills and knowledge and culture, she

said. But we see we are receiving a lot of your culture. We see we get a lot

back.

Britta Bohnhoff, who will teach third grade at Taylor Elementary School, said

she looked forward to bringing her experiences back to Bruel, Germany.

I am very interested in bringing some news of your culture back to Germany,

she said. Its important for me to take some news to tell them and to give

something important of Germany to the kids here.

Freudenberg said she appreciated the school districts support.

I want to say thank you for all the help we got, she said. Its a really

good feeling you gave us from the first moments of our arrival here in town.

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