Teacher Feature: Oyeshiku Carr
After yet another eventful summer of sightseeing, learning and befriending, Dr. Oyeshiku Carr bids farewell to the foreign country he has come to know. With this, he can return to the high school with unique perspectives and new stories to tell.
Carr’s experiences from around the world give him a one-of-a-kind point of view, which allows him to take his teaching to new heights.
This year, Carr teaches 11th grade U.S. history and assists with the African American/Latino Scholars Program. He hasn’t always worked in Brookline, however: he has lived in six countries, spanning three continents, and has visited over forty more.
“Some of my favorite places, I think for many Americans it would be difficult.” Carr said. “They’re developing countries; a lot of our access to stuff, they don’t have. You don’t go to the supermarket and see 50 types of jam and 40 cereals. The lights go off sometimes, and you just have to live with the fact that there’s no power for hours in a day.”
From his experiences in these countries, Carr always comes away with a more open mind and a better understanding of privilege.
“It teaches you that it’s a privilege to be able to have a sense of both experiences and appreciate both experiences, and realize how lucky you are and how much easier your life is” Carr said.
Carr hopes to utilize his newfound perspectives to inspire and educate his students.
“I think it’s fun for students to feel like they have somebody teaching them who himself has a lot of experiences,” said Carr. “I think it’s in part inspiring to some students, that they think, ‘Hey, I can do that too! I can travel to these places and have these experiences.’”
This resonates with one of his students, junior India Washington.
“It’s made me more open to living in other countries,” Washington said.
From Djibouti to Russia, Carr’s lengthy travels never fail to provide him with the first hand experiences that make his teaching unparalleled.
Junior Zoey Mendoza admires Carr’s ability to communicate points of view well, something that is vital in a history class.
“I think he’s really good about showing different perspectives,” Mendoza said. “We do current events presentations twice a week, and I think that’s really great for us to be able to know about what’s going on in the world on a bunch of different topics.”
Carr wishes to use his experiences as a way to broaden the worlds of his students.
“I make the world bigger for my students,” Carr said. “And I think that’s always a challenge with living in Brookline and going to Brookline High. We do have international families, but not everyone is international; many people haven’t traveled extensively. So I think students appreciate getting the sense that the world is pretty big and that they have a teacher who has seen a bunch of it.”