#HeritageTeachers // Andrew Goga: “We want to raise a generation of strong, independent young people”

30 November 2020

Andrew Goga is a History and Geography teacher at Heritage International School. He has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Economics and Policy from Pennsylvania State University, United States, with additional certifications in English, Geography, and African Studies. He loves teaching and enjoys being in class with his students.

I think that if the teacher enjoys being in class, he automatically sends a good vibe to the students, making it more interesting and fun for them. In my classes, my students see that I am interested in the subjects that I’m teaching them, and so I see that they usually enjoy being there as well.

In my 20s, I travelled all across Asia and Europe. Before coming to Moldova, I was living in Izmir, Turkey, and teaching at a private school there. And while I was there, I travelled a lot in Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe. I have many unusual and unbelievable memories from years of travelling.

In class, whenever I’m talking about some key historical or geographical topic, I almost every time have a pretty cool, real-life anecdote to back it up with, and students seem to enjoy that. It makes the subjects more relevant and real for them.

Photo: At the Northernmost point of Africa, in Tunisia
When I was a student, I studied abroad in South Africa and India. After all these amazing experiences from around the world, I advise my students to seize all opportunities.

If they want to learn about the world, they have to read books and pay attention in class but also go out and see the world for themselves.

Whenever I am teaching in my classes, the first and most important thing is that I make it enjoyable for my students. I never just sit at the desk; I’m always walking around, being very expressive, and using a lot of gestures and theatrics. I tell stories and jokes and get students to participate. I always want them to feel encouraged to contribute in our lessons.

Photo: Exploring ancient Greek ruins in Turkey

A few days ago, I had to substitute teach an extra class, and when I walked into the room, the class cheered when they saw I was their substitute. I saw they were genuinely happy and for me that was a great reward.

We want to raise a generation of strong, independent young people. We want them to be free thinkers and voice their opinions, especially for subjects that can be abstract and open to interpretation. I try to get my students to share their opinions, feel comfortable in class and enjoy being there. Motivated in this way, they will take school more seriously and enjoy the learning process.

Photo: Hiking in Kyrgyzstan

Recently, in a history lesson, I noticed a student that wasn’t part of that class. I asked him why he was there if he wasn’t in our class. He told me he loved my history classes so much, and he found my way of teaching and me, as a teacher, so interesting that he decided to attend. That student didn’t have any more lessons for the day, and he could have gone home and enjoyed his Friday afternoon, but he said he would rather stay in Mr. Goga’s class because it was fun and interesting. That was fantastic.

Students are perceptive and they know when teachers really care about them and their academic situation. And I really do care about my students. Whenever they’re coming back to school after being ill for a couple of days, I always ask them how they’re doing, catch them up with all the work, and help them do well in class.

Photo: At Tighina Fortress

Sometimes, the teacher can really make or break a student’s appreciation for a subject. And I want my students to enjoy history and geography and remember me as a fun, friendly teacher with compelling lessons. That way, they’ll be far more likely to remember my subjects as the years go by.

The best way that global education can evolve is for its availability to increase. In Moldova, if you want to get a global education, Heritage is definitely the place to get it, because of our world-class teachers and international curriculum. Heritage students are extremely lucky to experience global education here, in their home country.

Get to know all our amazing Heritage teachers here

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