December 22, 2015

A Journey From Guyana to G.O.A.

A Journey From Guyana to GOA
Alissa Lampert ‘18

From a microbiologist in a forensics lab, to a librarian, to a chemistry teacher, Mrs. Susan Allie has had a passion for teaching that inspires those around her to experience chemistry in a new way.
Allie grew up in Guyana, South America. Living in a country stricken with turmoil and corruption, she learned the “value of hard work,” from her father raising her family in comfort, but not luxury, in a place with such hardships.
Allie says her father was a great influence throughout her entire life.
“I love being a teacher and had learnt so many things from my father about being a teacher,” she said “He never taught for money; it never mattered to him.
“When he came to Guyana he opened his own school. Before that he taught in a government school. He would teach electronics to kids who dropped out of school for no price. He would bring them into our house and teach.”
Although her father’s selfless nature inspired Allie, she says that the initial influx of poor children to their house was a disturbance because she was unable to use the one television they had in the house.
High school for Allie was different from the system we have in place in the United States. She explained that the students who excelled at schoolwork were put into the science classes, while the students who were more artistic were put in the art classes. Allie was placed in science class, although she had wanted to become an artist during high school
Upon completing high school, Allie studied biology and chemistry at the University of Guyana. Allie later got her diploma in education at the University of West Indies in Jamaica. She then completed her Master’s in Education with a program in Mandeville, Jamaica, run by Andrews University in Michigan.
Following graduation, Allie received a job in a forensics lab in Guyana and after working there for a few years, she became an assistant librarian at a university library.
At the time, Guyana was experiencing a “brain drain,” where all of the educated people were leaving because they were unhappy with the political system. As a result, Allie moved to Jamaica where she landed a teaching job. It was there that she discovered her passion for teaching.
“[Teaching gives her the] opportunity to be myself,” she said and added she learned how to teach by improving on the methods her past teachers used.
Students find her class engaging and exciting.
Sophomore Yael Liebman remarked how she enjoys the “hands­-on” aspect of the class.
“Instead of just describing a reaction to the class, she will actually show us!,” Liebman added.
Allie also attempts to make a focused environment where students can get work done while being stimulated.
“My first impression of the class was the busyness, with multiple projects occurring at the same time,” sophomore Sophia Heimowitz said. “I also like that the class goes in any direction and that if a lab can be done surrounding a new concept, Mrs. Allie will do her best to show us.”
Although Mrs. Allie’s initial dreams of becoming an artist were not fulfilled, she has found her passion from learning from her past experiences and her family.


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