Teaching Across the Globe: Mrs. Khamis’ New Job

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Khamis and her new ‘family’ in class. (PHOTO BY KHAMIS)

BY JACOB MANTLE

“I feel like it’s hard to be somewhere where everything is different,” said Mrs. Khamis, former orchestra director of Mariemont High School. Khamis is currently teaching 8768 miles away from Mariemont in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Living across the world is not so different for students, but the cultures are according to her. After the past school year, Khamis took her teaching talents to the International Community School of Bangkok in Thailand (ICS)

The former orchestra director noted a similarity in sizes of the ICS and MHS orchestras. According to Khamis, only 19 students are in ICS’s orchestra––Mariemont has 29 students between concert and chamber orchestras. ICS’ program is also involved in multiple concerts a year similar to Mariemont.

According to Khamis, Thai students face the same pressures as students here do––sports, clubs, AP’s, junior year’s––Khamis said there’s an “individualistic approach” and “college class mentality.”

Having a more “individualistic approach,” makes Khamis want to create a family and “community culture” in her new Thai orchestra.

“I think at our school (ICS) there is a lot of individual endeavors and achievements. You see kids experiencing things in sports that they haven’t experienced before because it’s a more of a team and coming together thing,” added Khamis.

Sophomore violin Olivia Sullivan said, “I definitely liked how at the end of last year it felt like we were a family. I made a lot of friends.”

A happy Khamis and students after their performance. (PHOTO BY KHAMIS).

A difference between the countries and cultures are their service to others. The teacher said, “They’re very kind and service-oriented. You don’t throw your trash away at a fast food restaurant, they do it for you. I feel like I should help.”

Diversity is another difference, according to US News and World Reports, Mariemont High School only has a 7% minority enrollment. According to ICS’s profile, 68% of ICS’s student body are from 27 non-Thai different countries.

The amount of work done by Khamis at work and school is comparably different. “I go home and occasionally will grade some AP Music Theory, but for the most part I go home to go home,” said the teacher.

Growing up, Khamis always “had a heart for other people and other cultures,” so when the opportunity arose, the former music director left Mariemont in hopes to learn a new culture and do something different.

Khamis added, “I’ve always wanted to combine some type of cross-cultural thing with what I love doing [teaching].”

Former students miss Khamis, yet they know she is happy. “I was kinda sad, yet kinda happy for her because I felt like this was something she wanted to do and it would be better for her—more healthy,” said senior violin, Noah Hoffer.

“There’s a little adjustment not being home with the people you know and love,” said the orchestra director. “But I think it’s helped that the teachers have huge hearts and reached out. I’ve made some new friends which has been nice.”