Briercrest alum is realizing her dream to teach in another country

Posted: July 6, 2011

By Julie Cole

Cyndee Morehouse. Submitted photo.

For years Cyndee Morehouse has dreamed of teaching in another country. This summer she gets to experience a bit of that dream.

During July and August Morehouse will be one of three leaders who are taking 11 students from Briercrest College and Seminary to conduct English camp for primary and secondary students in Hong Kong.

Morehouse’s path to becoming a teacher of English was a bit irregular.

“I came (to Briercrest) in 2004 from Nakusp, B.C. and completed a Master’s in New Testament,” Morehouse explained. “I began working in the Distance Learning department of Briercrest as an instructor and wanted to go into the teaching field, but didn’t really want to pursue a PhD.”

She wanted to teach at a Christian college and began looking at options overseas.

“I started looking at the mission field, but teaching positions at Bible colleges in third world countries are all raise-your-own-support. With three kids . . . that really wasn’t a good option for me,” she said.

Morehouse had a friend at Briercrest who was in the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) program. Morehouse found that with her other Briercrest coursework, she only needed 35 credits to complete an AA in the program.

“I took two to three courses per semester to complete the AA in two and a half years,” she said.

The Briercrest TESOL program provided Morehouse with this summer’s teaching opportunity in Hong Kong. Many of the team’s members are second-year students in the program.

“It’s all expenses paid,” Morehouse explained. “(That) makes it doable.”

The team offers English camps which are advertised to local Hong Kong schools as a way to provide students with a week of language training.

“(The lessons are) based on speaking and listening –fun games and activities,” Morehouse said. “Between the two teams we will be in eight different schools teaching six classes – a different school every week.”

The teams won’t know until they start each week’s camp whether their class is composed of elementary or secondary-aged students. Because of this, the team has prepared two curriculums for the camp that cater to the different age groups.

Morehouse hopes the team will have a positive influence on the students and people they meet.

“Each of the leaders and teachers has a T.A. (teacher’s assistant) who is a Hong Kong university student who is fluent in English,” Morehouse said. “We will do things with them outside of class and learn about their culture as well. Probably the people we’ll have the most impact on are our T.A.s.”

The TESOL team leader has future hopes for her teaching career. She would like to return overseas on a more permanent basis in three years—after her youngest son graduates from high school.

She’d like to teach English in Turkey. Her Master’s degree in New Testament influenced her choice.

“I love New Testament studies,” Morehouse exclaimed. “Turkey is steeped in studies of New Testament. I’m very interested in cross-cultural ministry to Arabs and Turkey is one country where I could go as a single woman . . . and take part in the community and have a job.”

Morehouse surrenders the ultimate plan for her life to God who gave her the dream to teach in the first place.

“I think God puts a passion in your heart and then as you move through the planning process and the preparation process He modifies and hones your dream or your path,” she explained. “I’m willing to go wherever God wants me to go.”