Ms. Joanna Harrington grew up in Montreal, Canada and once spent four months in Panama. So it seems rather natural for her to join Southmoreland High School’s staff as a French and Spanish teacher.
Teaching two languages is very uncommon; in fact, Ms.Harrington doesn’t know of anyone else that does this.
Harrington was born in Canada, which is where her native French language comes from. She lived there until she was 21 and then moved to Hawaii because she “wanted to get away and see what the world was really about.”
“Traveling helped me get an idea of what I wanted to do,” said Ms. Harrington. “It gave me a better understanding of it, too.”
Ms. Harrington had her biology degree but didn’t know what she wanted to do. She saw a YMCA camp that was hiring, and she moved there so she could get the job. After two years of working there she came to Pennsylvania to pursue her teaching career.
She ended up teaching a middle school and taught science and a language. Ms. Harrington taught a majority of science and had one-two classes of a language. She did that for five years and ending up on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in the education department. After three years, she realized it wasn’t exactly what she wanted.
Ms. Harrington wanted to be a high school teacher, and when administrators at Southmoreland High School found out she could speak and teach two languages, she said they contacted her. It was her first time teaching two languages at one time and knew it would be challenging.
Señora Lauren Elliott teaches Spanish along with Ms. Harrington.
“It’s great having another teacher here to balance ideas off of and collaborate with,” said Mrs. Elliott.
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- Harrington enjoys challenge of teaching French and Spanish - November 10, 2015