Waltz, Natalie Beth

Nov. 22, 2002, midnight | 18 years, 11 months ago

Anna Murphy

Name: Natalie Beth Waltz
Subject: E.S.O.L. (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
Education: BA in French at West Chester University, M. Ed in TESOL at University of Maryland
Previous Jobs: tour guide at Club Med, membership representative for American Youth Hostels, Program Coordinator for Youth for Understanding
Came to Blair in: 1999
Hobbies: playing sports, playing Ultimate Frisbee, running, reading fiction, being outdoors
Extra Curricular Activities: Sponsor of the Frisbee Club

Growing up in a small New England town, E.S.O.L. teacher Natalie Waltz had seen very little of the world. "It was very homogeneous; almost exclusively middle class and white," she commented on her hometown of Newtown, Connecticut. Waltz knew that she wanted to see the world and show it to others through teaching.

At the age of 18, Waltz spent a year in France living with relatives. Leaving the small town of her youth, she was able to experience new things. "It changed my whole life, gave me a different perspective on things," Waltz said. "I learned a new language, learned how to manage on my own without close family or friends, and that the world was a lot bigger than the little town I grew up in!" Waltz also said this experience helped her to decide on her future career. "I [decided to teach] E.S.O.L. partly because I understand what it's like to live in a foreign country and not understand the language or culture."

Bad experiences in previous jobs helped Waltz decide on her career. She often worked in jobs in which she sat bored in an office all day. Waltz's desire for face-to-face contact with young people led her to work in a school setting.

Teaching is rewarding for Waltz, but it can also be stressful. Controlling disrespectful students and keeping up with meetings can take its toll. "Sometimes it gets so overwhelming!" she exclaimed. But despite these hurdles, teaching is a valuable experience for Waltz. "I want to help other people understand that knowledge is exciting and powerful."

Outside of the classroom, Waltz loves to do individual sports such as running and swimming, as well as Ultimate Frisbee. In fact, Waltz is the sponsor of the Frisbee Club at Blair. She loves to spend time outdoors walking her dog or playing with her four-year-old son. She describes her son's birth as her most significant memory. "Words can't describe what you feel when they hand you that baby," she said.

Waltz plans to continue teaching "at least for the foreseeable future." She has considered going back to school and receiving an MLS (Master's of Library Science) because she has a passion for books and computers and she could still work in a school setting. However, winter will bring her something to occupy her time. "I will also be having a baby this winter, so that will keep me busy for a few years!"

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