After two years of teaching in South America, Health teacher Randall Fenderson has returned to Hollywood High School.
Fenderson taught at a private school in Quito, Ecuador from 2017-19. There he worked as a 10th grade Health and Physiology teacher. Previously, he also taught in Colombia from 2010-12 as a 9th and 10th grade Health teacher and a Sex and Drug Awareness Elective Course Instructor.
“I’ve always had a curiosity,” said Fenderson. Having always wanted to travel, moving to South America to teach seemed like a great option. He felt that living in Los Angeles one has to know how to speak Spanish, and moving to Ecuador was the perfect chance for him to practice. Both in Colombia and Ecuador, Fenderson taught at private schools. He explains that one of the main differences between the students in South America and those in LA is that students were “not as real.” because the relationships he made were not as strong as those in public schools, here.
When living in a different country, you are exposed to a new culture. Fenderson says one of the main things that shocked him was the students calling him by his first name. “I didn’t really like it,” he said, “it blurred the line between student and teacher”.
He noted that most people tend to be more relaxed and resourceful in Ecuador, due to the lack of funds. He found that most people didn’t have the latest things and rather fixed the old supplies they had. “We are much more wasteful, once something breaks we throw it out and buy a new one.”
Fenderson stated that he is interested in returning to South America, he just isn’t sure when. Even so, he is thrilled to be back in Los Angeles, as he missed its food and beaches. This year will be his sixth year teaching at Hollywood High School. Not only is he back as our Health teacher, but once school re-opens he’ll be working part-time as our lifeguard too.