Alchawki, French intern brings her teaching skills to Madame Blonder’s classes

by Sammie Hoefs, Reporter

Mrs. Samar Alchawki is an intern from Mount St. Mary’s University and plans to earn a Masters in Education. When she lived in Egypt, she taught French and now wants to continue her career here in the U.S. 

She said, “When I see their [students] success through their French education over time I feel I have succeeded at my job.”

When many people think of Egypt they think of a desert with lots of dirt. However Alchawki said desert and sand is  only by the pyramids. She said tons of tourists are always looking at the pyramids and  the huge Sphinx of Giza nearby. A Sphinx in ancient Egypt was a mythical figure with a head of a man and a body of a lion.  Most of Egypt is different than the picture postcards of the pyramids.

Schools in Egypt are different in the U.S. In Egypt,  high school, middle school, and elementary school are all in one area. There, children are required to learn a language, most often English,  by first or second grade. A class in Egypt can vary from 35 to 45 students. Alchawki  said she felt very overwhelmed sometimes knowing she couldn’t get to all her students at once.

Alchawki is an intern for Mrs. Dragana Blonder. She is getting experience with levels 2,3,4 and AP. Blonder said, “It has been wonderful because she is very helpful in the classroom. When I feel overwhelmed when I cannot get to everyone, she is a great addition to help out.”

Alchawki has spoken French with the upper level students and has answered many of their questions about life in another country.

Alchawki moved to the U.S and had to leave her family behind, which is never easy. Her adjustment at first was difficult because everything was very different than what she was used to: foods, weather, traditions, technology, and even names.

She said there is so much technology used in just about everything in the United States. Her hardest challenge was getting used to credit cards. In Egypt she always paid in cash, and adjusting to a different lifestyle was challenging.

She first lived in Illinois and later moved to Maryland. She likes that in the U.S. everywhere there are trees, grass, and flowers. She specifically likes Washington, D.C. and how its laid out and the monuments.  

Being away from home is hard, but following your passion makes it worth it. When she came to the U.S she got married and had two children. She said the hardest part from being away from home is her family and friends. She misses the food in Egypt. She enjoys going to the international markets, but there are some foods that she cannot find here. One difficulty about being far away is that her mother didn’t see the grandchildren until the oldest was three, and her second son was a newborn.

She’s following her passion to pursue her career in teaching and it didn’t come easy, but she adapted. She made sacrifices she felt were necessary like moving to the U.S. She has a family of her own now and is becoming a teacher by getting her Masters Degree in Education at Mount St. Mary’s. Samar shows dedication really does pay off.