Last month, the science department welcomed a new teacher from the small west African country of Cameroon.
Raymond Ekabe, who moved to the United States four years ago, will serve as a long-term substitute for honors biology teacher Janice Bauroth, who is filling in for AP biology teacher Melanie Toth. Toth is currently on leave, but is expected to return to Whitman in the future.
“Mr. Ekabe was by far the most qualified teacher available for this position and we gladly invited him to accept the position after the first few days of class,” science resource teacher Don DeMember wrote in a letter written to students and parents about the staffing change.
Ekabe has been substitute teaching in MCPS high schools for two years and taught high school level biology and chemistry in Cameroon for 15 years. He has degrees from universities in both Cameroon and the U.S.
While Ekabe’s transition to the Whitman classroom has been relatively smooth, he has faced some difficulty adjusting to Edline and school grading policies. Despite the fine-tuning, DeMember is pleased with Ekabe’s performance so far.
“I think he has done a great job on the planning and delivery of the content,” DeMember said. “He’s also very good with technology.”
Like many other Whitman teachers, Ekabe is still learning how to use his Promethean board. But he embraces the technology and believes it will help his teaching style. He looks at the Promethean board like it’s a second teacher, he said.
Aside from the technological changes, Ekabe is also learning a new style of teaching.
“Here we use a lot of experimentation,” Ekabe said. “Back [in Cameroon] the experimentation is limited due to the availability of resources.”
Nevertheless, science courses in both countries are not very different, Ekabe said. Although some students are still adjusting to his accent, they are supportive of his teaching style.
“He knows his stuff,” freshman Noah Gunther said.
Ekabe is equally supportive of his students, and credits them for helping his transition go smoothly.
“Whitman is the school that every teacher wants to teach at,” he said. “It’s a school where the kids are very, very awesome.”