Teaching in India a life-changer for Mehrtens - Republic-Times | News

Teaching in India a life-changer for Mehrtens

By on August 9, 2017 at 2:09 pm

Pictured at a teacher training program, Heather Mehrtens (second row, fourth from left) stops for a group shot with the teachers participating in the training.

Along with cutting through American and Indian stereotypes, Heather Mehrtens’ recent teaching experience in New Dehli helped her enjoy the most interesting facets of a foreign culture.

Mehrtens, 29, faced the challenge of immersing herself in the lifestyle of another country when she started a 10-month teaching fellowship in northern India. The 2005 Waterloo High School graduate taught English as a second language to more than 100 students at two different colleges.

“I think overall it was an amazing experience,” she said. “I would recommend it.”

Mehrtens’ mom, Marcia Mehrtens, said she and her husband, Vince, were happy to see the impact Mehrtens was having on the students in India.

“When Heather first told my husband Vince and I that she was going to teach in India, we were worried,” Marcia said. “But once we saw where she was living and how much she loved teaching over there, our worries turned to pride as we saw what a difference she was making in the lives of the students she was teaching.”

Pictured in back, Heather Mehrtens poses for a group photo with several of her students. (submitted photos)

The two colleges where Mehrtens taught included Kamala Nehru College and Jamia Millia Islamia University. Additionally, she hosted teacher training programs to help native teachers understand how to present difficult English concepts to students.

In 2012, Mehrtens received her masters degree in teaching English as a second language. She went on to teach at several universities before ending up at the University of Maryland as an ESL instructor…>>>


Read the rest of this story in the August 9 issue of the Republic-Times.

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Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years. email:sean@republictimes.net