Mary Claire Hargrove
She has been at PELA since 2013.
Why did you become a teacher? "I love working with people, and I love traveling and learning about other cultures. I wanted a job that could take me anywhere in the world."
What experience do you have learning a foreign language or living in a foreign culture? "Over the years I've studied a little bit of Latin and Spanish, and I lived in Rwanda for a year and a half, teaching English and test prep classes for students who were applying to international universities."
How has your international experience helped your teaching? "I know what it's like to be in a place where you don't always feel confident speaking the language. It opened my eyes even more to cultural differences, which has made me more sensitive to people who are new to my own culture."
What do you do when you are away from school? "Hang out with my husband; we love hiking, baking, tennis, reading, and exploring new places!"
Why do you like Portland? "The weather is amazing. You can do outdoor activities all year, and it's green all through winter. The people are laid back and kind, and there's so much diversity here. Portland draws people from all over the country, as well as people from all over the world."
Why do you recommend our school to students? "The teachers at PELA care about the students. The small class sizes allow a great deal of interaction between students and teachers, but beyond English ability, the teachers care about the students' lives."