Mary Manda, or Ms. M, believes that teaching is a passion. She took that passion with her to the classrooms of Shelby, Montana, where she is teaching Special Ed classes. Shelby is one of many rural towns in the United States that is suffering from a shortage of teachers at the elementary and secondary levels. And while this need is being fulfilled by recruiting talent from the Philippines, questions have been raised about this program’s sustainability.
“At the heart of the issue, the next generation isn’t moving back to small towns like Shelby,” says Pastor Chad Scarborough. As the leader of the congregation to which the Manda family belongs, Pastor Scarborough understands what it means to build a community. He also sees the special role that Filipino families, like the Mandas, play within it.
“These are loving, kind, generous communities that need good teachers—Filipino or not,” he continues. Through Ms. Manda’s new life as a foreign teacher, we see what it means not only to teach a subject, but to nurture a community.
Watch FIVE YEARS for the whole story.
Filipinos are taking root across the world as immigrants and new citizens. From Middle America to Hawaii to Alaska, our Intersections series reimagines who we are and how we can better ourselves and the communities around us.