Get to Know Your Teachers is our regular interview series where we sit down with ISD faculty to learn more about them, their interests, and how they ended up at ISD. This week's interview is with 3rd Grade teacher Ms. Karalyn Yu.
How long have you been at ISD? This is my 2nd year at ISD.
Where were you before? I was at the American International School of Cape Town, in South Africa. Before that, I was teaching in my hometown of Vancouver, Canada.
Cape Town sounds like a cool place to live! Where else have you traveled within Africa?
Well because Cape Town is so far from home, I chose to spend many of my school holidays traveling on the continent. So I've managed to explore quite a few countries in Southern and East Africa, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, DRC, Ethiopia, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the Seychelles. But my three favorites were Rwanda (mountain gorillas are the raddest), Namibia (stunning landscapes and enormous red sand dunes) and Madagascar (majestic baobabs and so many different lemurs). I'm a little embarrassed to say that other than within Senegal, I haven't travelled around West Africa at all. But it's definitely on my list for next year!
What do you teach at ISD? I teach 3rd grade. After spending my last two years in Cape Town as a Librarian and French teacher, I am really enjoying being a homeroom teacher and having a class to call my own.
What do you enjoy about teaching 3rd grade? I love that third grade is a year where many students become more independent learners. We're still building on the foundation of language, math and thinking skills but we can also have really interesting discussions where we dig deeper and analyze topics. I enjoy that third graders are still very curious and ask lots of questions. They have a great sense of humor; more often than not, they "get" my jokes.
How would you describe the students at ISD? Inquisitive. Caring. Well-travelled. Polite. They are also very compassionate. I think because many of them have experienced starting at a new school, they are incredibly helpful and welcoming to new students.
What is your favorite meal at Shady Shack? Hummus! It's all about the hummus. I'm also partial to the crispy chicken or falafel plate as a Friday treat once in awhile.
What is your favorite place in Senegal? My favorite place so far has been St. Louis. It may have something to do with the fact that we stayed at an amazing guesthouse (Au fil du Fleuve) with the most charming and knowledgable hostess, Marie-Caroline. The Sine Saloum is a close second.