Name: Maima Barclay
Department: Social Studies
Came to Blair In: 2005
Classes Taught: Connections, Social Studies, and Political Science
Education: Brooklyn College of the City Universities of New York
Students stop in the middle of what they're doing to come up to Maima Barclay; they hug and kiss her cheeks as she puts her arms around them and comments on what they're working on. Everyone says hello in the hallway and as she sits down Barclay rummages through her purse, pulls out a Baby Ruth candy bar and offers it to anyone.
With her down-to-earth and playful personality, Barclay is a teacher that students fawn over. A graduate of Brooklyn College of the City Universities of New York, Barclay's original goal of becoming a juvenile advocate changed once a professor convinced her otherwise. "I thought I was going to be a juvenile advocate, or juvenile lawyer, but in my last year of college, a professor motivated me to apply to a job at a school,” she says. According to Barclay the professor had confidence in her and felt that she belonged in the classroom.
Barclay moved to the states from Liberia in January of 1989 to pursue opportunities and personal aspirations that couldn't be fulfilled in her home country. "I was either going to England, Germany, or the U.S.” she says. According to Barclay, there are more chances to succeed in United States and Europe than in Liberia. Barclay left behind 12 siblings and her father to join her three other siblings in the States.
After moving to the U.S., Barclay lived in New York for 16 years. She then moved to Maryland after working in New York schools for seven years and is a social studies, political science and connections teacher at Blair.
With a major in political science and a minor in educational studies, Barclay was always positive that no matter what she did, it would involve children. "I always wanted to work with young people,” she says. According to Barclay, her goal for students, as well as herself, is to find a strategy that encourages them to be intrinsic learners.
"I enjoy teaching, it's one of the few things I've accomplished in my life,” Barclay says. Eventually, Barclay hopes to go back to Liberia and open a school, or home, for girls. She wants to give them a free education in places where instruction is not always available. For now, however, Barclay seems completely at home.
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