ucps logo

Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools

Search by Keyword

Speck Brings Global Experiences to Classroom

Just another day with the anacondas in the jungles of Peru!

Ms. Tiphany Speck is a first-year teacher who has joined the Piedmont staff this year in the Social Studies Department. Ms. Speck brings a wide array of global experiences to her Holocaust and Civics classes as she has lived in 20 different countries. As Speck notes, "We all have a story worth telling; it just becomes a matter of if someone is going to listen." Ms. Speck shares some of her story...

It has always been a desire of mine to see the world. To taste exotic foods, to touch wild beast, to feel harsh climates and experience cultures I have only read about in National Geographic. Most importantly, I wanted to talk to people and hear their stories. I wanted them to know that their lives, even though they live out in the deepest part of the jungle or the driest part of the dessert, mattered and their stories were worth hearing.

I have had the chance to experience all this and so much more. Over many of my adult years and a few of my childhood ones, I have had the opportunity to live on 5 different continents and travel in 20 different countries. I have been to South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and call North America home. Through these travels I have had some of my fondest memories but also some of the lowest times of my life. Seeing life lived out in the harshest of conditions humbles me to a realization of all I have been blessed with. They have also allowed me to experience such joy with so little that I had a sense of happiness I never felt before.

Most of my travels have revolved around volunteering in the community I was living in. I worked in orphanages, did construction work, held medical clinics with a local doctor and established relationships with families in an effort to educate them to be leaders in their villages or towns. Some of these efforts were easy for me to do as they used many of my talents but others were out of my comfort zone requiring that I challenge myself. It was through these challenges that I ended up learning the most.

I would encourage anyone to travel and see the world. I would tell you don’t just watch NatGeo but experience it for yourself. However, if it is not your thing, I would challenge you to stretch yourself in your own community. Don’t just know your neighbor by name but get to know them so that you can tell their story. We all have a story worth telling, it just becomes a matter of if someone is going to listen.

Written by: Tiphany Speck, Social Studies Teacher
Posted: Sep 28, 2012 by Donna Helms

Back to list of stories for Union County Public Schools