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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Say Hello to Mr. March


Favorite color: Blue

Favorite book(s): The Skin Map series by Steven Lawhead

Favorite movie(s): The James Bond films

Favorite scientist: his old, not-so-famous college professors

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As we have started to ease into the new school year, we’ve all begun to familiarize ourselves with the new faces that have recently joined us. If you’re currently taking physics, you might have already gotten to know Stephen March, one of the newest teachers in WIS’ science department. If you haven’t yet, here’s your chance!

Becoming a physics teacher was never a part of Mr. March’s original plan. He started out living in DC, then went to study at Cornell University in New York to become an engineer. After finishing his studies, he returned to DC and worked for Clark construction (The company building the wharf at the DC waterfront and CityCenter). Mr. March quickly got bored of his job and position in DC, so when the opportunity arose, he moved to Las Vegas with the company and worked with them there. He discovered that the location had nothing to do with his boredom, but that the problem lay in the job itself. “A lot of people love that job,” he comments, “but for me, I just needed something different.” Mr. March quit his work with construction and moved to selling coffee and tea. While his business was still starting up,a friend of his suggested he substitute for a few classes at a school, so he did. He ended up enjoying it, and kept substituting more and more. When a teacher left her job, he took a chance and ended up teaching for a whole school quarter. He discovered his love for teaching and took up a full-time job as a math teacher. However, Mr. March was looking for an exciting experience abroad, so when a school in China gave him an opportunity to teach there, he enthusiastically took it.

The school Mr. March was going to work at didn’t need a math teacher, but it did need a physics teacher. Having really wanted to teach abroad, Mr. March eagerly accepted the offer. He found out that teaching physics was “awesome.” He liked the fact that he could apply the math he already loved to physical, moving objects. Mr. March decided that he would stick with physics, and he stayed in China for the next five years. While working there, he and his wife also had their two daughters. When asked if he preferred living in the States or in China, Mr. March said he couldn’t answer that question. “There’s so many differences,” he says, “So many positives about living in China, so many positives about living here.”

Mr. March says that having living abroad has definitely changed his views on teaching. Seeing how students in China learn compared to how students in the US learn has given him a whole new international perspective on who students are and how they approach education. “[My experience] taught me a lot about how to deal with different cultures, how to be flexible,” adding, “there’s a lot that you learn when you live overseas that you couldn’t learn without stretching yourself.”

As he and his family have just recently moved here, they are still settling in. At the moment, Mr March says that his most time-consuming hobby is setting up his house and moving in. When they’re not putting their home together, he and his family like to “just enjoy life”. They often bike, swim, and just hang out and spend time together. He, his wife and two daughters love learning about DC, and for now, they’re still exploring.

Having already taught at WIS for a couple of months, Mr. March says that there is definitely something different about the students here than at the other schools he has taught at. “They work very hard, they’re really polite, they really enjoy what they’re doing,” he says,”so working with them is really enjoyable.” Mr. March is definitely having a great time here at WIS. He loves the atmosphere and great work ethic that everyone seems to have. Hopefully, Mr. March will continue to teach at WIS for the years to come!

By Alya Al-Kibbi

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