LSU Alumnus Getting an Education of His Own by Teaching Language Arts in Egypt
BATON ROUGE – In Sheikh Zayed City, an affluent suburb of Cairo, Egypt, LSU College of Education alumnus Eric Triche teaches language arts to sixth and seventh graders at the American International School in Egypt – West Campus.
The American International School in Egypt, or AIS, has been one of Egypt’s leading schools since it opened its doors to its first 240 students in 1990. Today, AIS Egypt has more than 1,200 students from 41 countries.
Despite his extensive experience teaching in the U.S., Belgium and Japan, Triche admitted that living in the developing Egyptian nation presents a new set of challenges, including dismally slow postage and banking systems and unreliable and expensive internet access.
“I sometimes feel like I’m living in the Dark Ages,” he said. “I have to constantly remind myself that these are exactly the sorts of challenges that I wanted and from which I will grow the most.
“I have visited developing countries, but this is the first time I’ve lived in one. The most challenging adjustment for me has been directly linked to the lack of efficiency in things that we, as Americans, have come to expect and now take for granted.”
In January, just a month after signing his teaching contract, Triche watched as a violent and highly publicized political revolution erupted in Egypt. He admits to feelings of significant apprehension, but was never deterred.
“I was seriously concerned, as were all of the new hires,” he said. “Our administration did a great job of constantly communicating with us and keeping us updated on things. It was very clear to me that the school’s priority during this situation has been teacher safety. We are all strongly committed to what we are doing here in Egypt.”
Despite these obstacles, Triche insists that his experience in Egypt has been nothing but positive.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying life here,” he said. “The people are amazing. The weather is almost always beautiful, and the cultural exposure is endless.”
A 32-year-old Lafayette native, Triche earned a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in elementary education from LSU in 2001. He earned a master’s degree magna cum laude in educational studies from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium in 2004 and an education specialist certificate summa cum laude in school administration and supervision from the University of Virginia in 2009.
Throughout his international studies and teaching over the past 10 years, Triche still credits the LSU College of Education with providing him with the necessary foundation and skills that make him an effective and successful educator.
“I have always said that the College of Education’s teacher preparation program is the foundation for who I am as a teacher,” he said. “There’s a reason that I was strongly recruited at graduation. So many recruiters told me that the people they hire from LSU are always top-notch.”
“I think the most valuable aspect of my teacher training was the way I was provided actual classroom experiences very early on,” he said. “In my four years of training, I got to see so many different teachers, classrooms and situations. It made me really understand that teaching is a science and an art.”
For more information about Triche’s teaching experiences, including photographs taken in his classrooms throughout the world, visit www.mrtriche.com.
For more information about the Department of Educational Theory, Policy and Practice in the LSU College of Education, visit www.lsu.edu/coe/etpp.