Seabury Hall welcomes traveler and dreamer Ms. Kamera Lang

Seabury+Hall+welcomes+traveler+and+dreamer+Ms.+Kamera+Lang

Lucy Dustman, Staff Writer

From Thailand to the Cayman Islands, China to Cambodia, Korea to Hawaii, Seabury Hall’s new English teacher Ms. Kamera Lang has taken every opportunity offered to her to travel the world. Now, she is ready to take on the world of English at Seabury Hall and share her experiences with her classes.

From an early age, Lang knew that she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. She was raised in a family where many of her relatives worked as teachers in colleges, elementary schools, and special education programs, which only confirmed her desire to teach.

“I always knew I wanted to be an educator, and I knew that it wasn’t a lucrative career, but I always felt like it was something that I was passionate about and something that I wanted to do,” Lang shared.

Despite this dream, her mother, an immigrant from Cambodia, had bigger aspirations for her. Fortunately, this barrier was not big enough to knock her down, and Lang continued on her destined path. She explained that for her, “It’s never been about the money. It’s always been about following my bliss and making a difference in the lives of others.”

With this dream in mind, she made sure that she was heading in the right direction throughout high school and college.

After graduating from Baldwin High School in Wailuku, Lang set off to undertake a degree in education at the University of Hawaii Manoa, where her grandfather was a professor in education.

Since graduating from college in 2006, Lang has made teaching and traveling a priority. She said that she “always knew that [she] wanted to travel,” which motivated her to try and make both dreams become a reality.

In 2006, Lang bought a one-way ticket to Thailand by herself and set off with only $1,000 in her pocket, embarking upon “on a one-year expedition,” with the desire to sustain herself by teaching in different countries.

While the experience was spectacular and breathtaking, Lang began to crave the stability of life on her home base: Maui.

When she returned home in 2007, she knew that it would be important to find another job. At the time, the Department of Education (DOE) was a popular way for teachers to get jobs in the public school system. However, since it was the end of the school year, she would not be given a job until after the summer. In the interim, Lang applied at the Individualized Learning Center, where she received the job of a private homeschool teacher.

By chance, Lang began teaching for a very wealthy family. She summarized the experience in one word: “wild.” Lang constantly traveled in the family’s private jet. “One day I would be in the Cayman Islands, and the next day I would be teaching in Provo, Utah, and the next week we would be back on Maui at their home in Kapalua,” Lang recalled.

Even though she enjoyed the experience, after a few months she felt like the rich and famous, “Hollywood” lifestyle was not for her. Fortunately, she was hired by the DOE in 2007 and began “giving back” to her high school community at Baldwin. However, when she decided to have a family, she chose to be a substitute teacher instead of working full-time while juggling her young children.

The subbing experience helped her connect with other schools on Maui and get a feel for each of their unique attributes. This eventually carried her to Seabury, where she teaches Expository Writing and American Literature to freshmen and juniors, respectively.

As an English teacher, Lang tries to assist her students in questioning everything about the world around them through personal discussions and in-class activities. She says that she pushes them to gain more “knowledge and empathy so that they appreciate the things that differ from their understanding.”

Additionally, “She brings the experience of what it’s like to teach and attend a large public school, and I think that some of her skill set is based on what she learned or observed that worked or didn’t work,” Kathy Middleton, a junior AP US History and US History teacher remarked.

Junior Zofia Kayian, who is in Lang’s American Literature class, said that “Our activities are really awesome, and she is not afraid to move away from what everyone else is doing.”

The enthusiasm and joy that Lang brings to the classroom, really encourages students to think freely, become motivated, work hard, and fully indulge in the projects.

With this goal and the continuation of her activities, Lang feels the need to be ten steps ahead of her Seabury students who challenge her ideas and views on different subjects.

Lang’s students recognize that she is willing to share her own life story with them so that they can learn from her. Kayian said that this is one reason why her English class passes so quickly. Students respond to Ms. Lang’s youthful and genuine personality.

“She is very charismatic and has a lot of passion for her work,” concluded Kayian.

At the end of her interview, Middleton shared that, “As an individual, [Lang] is delightful and positive, and I’m sure that those same characteristics carry over to the classroom.” She continued, “I think she’s great…we’re really lucky to have her.”

With the hope of becoming a more innovative and creative teacher, Lang eventually wants to create an interscholastic poetry slam to engage different schools on Maui. She will continue to pursue all her passions in their entirety, including teaching, reading, and sharing her favorite book “The Great Gatsby.”

Additionally, she would love to explore more countries and spend time with her two daughters, while also sustaining her original jewelry and handbag business that she began a few years ago as a stress reliever.

With the dream of bettering herself every day and proving herself as both a professional and as a person, Lang wants to inspire her students to dream what they want to dream. With this in mind, she wishes that they also recognize that “the tragedy isn’t in the dream.” Lang continued, “It’s in pursuing an unworthy dream and in order for the dream to work, two people need to believe in it.”