Beverly Anne B. Arguelles has spent her life in the Philippines. But this September, Beverly came to the United State for the very first time. She experienced snow for the first time, teaching in an American school system for the first time and living in Cut Bank.
Beverly moved to Cut Bank in September and after being hired to teach Special Education to fourth graders and math and reading to fifth graders at Anna Jeffries Elementary School.
Her impression of Cut Bank after just two months?
“I love the place and people. I feel like I’m in an old movie scene because of the buildings, the environment and the peaceful atmosphere of the place. I had to bear the weather, because it was so different from where I came from in the Philippines. I never experienced snow, not until I had my first snowstorm in September. Wow, it just shocked my system!” she exclaimed.
Beverly came to the United States because she felt it would “give me the best opportunity and training to grow and develop my passion for teaching children with special needs,” she said.
While she did not get to pick the place where she would teach, Beverly said God “interceded and He put me in the best place where I will grow as a person.”
Beverly knew teaching was going to be her passion from the very beginning. However, sometimes life steps in and forces another hand for a time.
Just as she got started in her college education for elementary education, she was forced to stop and return to Manila. There she worked for a relative who provided her with financial support, but not for continuing her elementary education, but for taking a “vocational course in beauty culture,” she said.
Her first job was in a beauty salon in Quezon City where she worked for nine years. She met her future husband, Joel, while working there and they were married in 2004. They have two children, Lawrence, 15, and Lyanne, 13.
In 2007, Beverly decided it was time to go back to school to pursue the career she was destined for, teaching. She went to the National College of Business and Arts, Cubao, Quezon City Campus.
“I had to work while studying to support my schooling and my kids too,” she said. “I spent 10 hours at work and arranged my class schedule according to the time I was not on duty. I had to manage my time really well so I could take all the units I needed to complete every semester. My husband helped me a lot by supporting me in every step of my goal, from the time I decided to go back to school until I graduated in April 2012.”
In the Philippines, teachers have to take a licensure exam in order to begin their teaching career. Beverly did that in December of 2012 and passed the test and in February of 2013, she was hired for her first teaching job at Guitnangbayan Elementary School in San Mateo Rizal. She started that job in May of 2013 and resigned her position at the salon a few days before.
“I handled grade five in my first year and grade four in my second and third year. I was able to complete my academic requirements and practicum at the Resources for the Blind in 2016 and was promoted as a special education teacher and taught that at San Mateo Elementary School.”
She continued, “I handled children with different disabilities, such as intellectual disability, autism and visual impairment. I worked there until I came to the United States this September.”
Beverly said the educational system in the Philippines has started working with the same K-12 system that is functional in the United States. That system has been in place since 2013. The Philippines “have been one of the last two Asian countries to have the K-12 education system,” she said.
Beverly admits she is learning so much here in the Cut Bank School system and “I am just hoping that everybody will have the patience as I learn the system.”
While only here a few months, she has already made friends with her fellow teachers and has an incredible amount of respect for those she works with.
“I can’t say enough about the teachers that I work with at Anna Jeffries. They are wonderful and very supportive and are always there to help me. The environment is very light and positive.”
This is a new and different season in Beverly’s life. It is a time to experience new cultures, new people and new students and she is getting to do all that and more, right here in Cut Bank.