CMR grad returns to the English classroom

Madison McMurphy and Isabel Foley

Teaching in America is a completely different ballgame than teaching in another country. One student teacher has first-hand experience with this.

Brandon Waldenburg spent time teaching in Guangzhou, China.

“I’ve always wanted to live and work abroad. So, I finally got that opportunity. It was crazy,” Waldenburg said. He said that while he was happy for the opportunity, it was quite the challenge.

“I had to really learn to go with the flow,” Waldenburg said. He said that in China teaching is teacher-oriented; the teacher talks, and students need to sit down, listen, and remember everything. While the teaching style was difficult, Waldenburg said he saw a lot of amazing things in Guangzhou and got to visit Thailand on the way back. 

“It was a very cool experience,” he said. Waldenburg said he got into teaching because of Scott Clapp who taught at CMR up until last year. 

“[Scott Clapp] really showed me what teaching could be,” he said. Waldenburg took AP English from Clapp and said it was a much appreciated challenge. He said that this is what led him to want to teach high school English. 

“High school English is where I want to be,” Waldenburg said. He has worked with middle schoolers before but prefers high school students, as they are more mellow. 

Other than teaching, Waldenburg’s hobbies include video games, reading, and board games. 

“I kind of nerd out,” he said. “I am a big fan of graphic novels.” 

He said his favorite books include Bone by Jeff Smith and Foundry Side by Robert Bennet, that he read in China. Waldenburg said he loved the experience he got teaching in China, but is glad to be back. 

“This is my home. I am definitely enjoying teaching here a lot more. […] I appreciated it a ton, but it’s good to be home.”