From Mongolia to Pittsburgh: Bringing English language skills to children in need - SHIM

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From Mongolia to Pittsburgh: Bringing English language skills to children in need

With a wealth of worldwide experience teaching children, SHIM is proud to introduce Diana Hunsberger, the lead teacher in our Early Childhood Program (ECP), which prepares local three- and four-year-olds for kindergarten by utilizing a dynamic curriculum that engages and inspires all of the kids, especially those from international families who may not have a fluent English speaker at home.

Diana received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at the University of Pittsburgh and became a pre-school teacher. Years later, a mission trip lead Diana and her husband Tim, a physics teacher, to Mongolia. The passionate pair spent 18 years there teaching children English in preparation for first grade.

After coming home to Pittsburgh, Tim returned to teaching physics, but Diana was left wondering what to do next. Fueled by her passions for working with children and helping her community, Diana found SHIM. “It was like a dream come true,” she gleams. “I get to do what I love and help others at the same time.”

Now Diana is proud to be teaching our littlest learners at SHIM. “It’s my job to get these kids excited about learning and hungry for more. In Mongolia and now here at SHIM, my goal is to show children that school is full of fun people who truly care.”

Diana shares five fun facts about her days at SHIM:

  1. On a rainy Monday how do you motivate both yourself and the kids to get excited about learning?
    I like to sing and learn happy songs with the children so we can get our minds in a positive mindset for the day
  2. What is the funniest question one of your students has asked?
    The children always ask my age. It is fun to see their reaction. Their eyes light up and they always say, “What?!!” It is followed by them shaking their heads and saying, “Teacher, you are old.”
  3. With 20 years of experience, what are you most excited to bring to SHIM’s ECP?
    I hope to implement a solid curriculum full of interactive materials so the children can gain confidence in using the language skills they have and be challenged to develop. Through SHIM’s program I hope to lessen each child’s need for English as a Second Language classes when they enter kindergarten.
  4. What is the best part of your job?
    The best part of my job is seeing each child’s personality and watching them grow and mature with each new day. They are very brave and resilient.
  5. What do you want your legacy to be?
    I want to be known for patiently and lovingly helping children to reach their full potential.
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