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Hanging with Hazel

Mary Hazel has taught for 24 years at schools in the Middle East, Battle Ground, Evergreen, and Oregon. Hazel finally took her trusted friends advice about coming to teach at Camas High School after years of trying to convince her she should. She had been hired as Camas High School’s new Spanish teacher, teaching in previous Spanish teacher Senora Bustos’ classroom (after Senora Bustos got moved to the new project based school that just recently opened this year).

Hazel explained to the Camasonian how she has been wanted as a teacher here for years, but finally decided to apply for a job here last year after being strongly encouraged by her fellow teacher friends.

“I have some friends who teach here, and every year they would encourage me to apply for a job, and I didn’t do it,” Hazel explained disappointedly.

She continued by explaining how working in the Middle East was a very interesting experience. She claims that she loved the school that her kids were in, but her and her family didn’t really fit into the culture there.

“It was a great experience for my family. My husband and I were both school employees in an international school… When they [her children] went on a field trip, they got on a plane to go on a field trip, so their experiences were so very great there,” she claimed.

Even though her and her family got some amazing opportunities back in the Middle East, they chose to come back to the U.S. after 3 years. Being born and raised in the United States, and then moving to a different country is a drastic change and can be extremely tough. Deciding to come back seemed like the right choice.

Although smiling as she looks back on her memories from teaching abroad, Mary Hazel stated, “It was difficult to live there, in the Middle East because of some of the challenges that are going on in our worlds both politically and geographically.”

She made a great point that both of our countries run things very differently. We have different forms of government, language, and food that was a huge adjustment for her and her family.

“It is amazing the things you can learn if you just pay attention”, Hazel encouraged. “Don’t shut your eyes”, she finalized. “Don’t close off to the things you can learn in this world, and the world is a lot bigger than Camas Washington.”

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