‘Students know when their teacher is a mensch or a moron’: 5 Questions with Mark Reimer

Mark Reimer grew up as a preacher’s kid, a missionary’s kid and a teacher’s kid. In a 33 year teaching career he taught from elementary through Masters classes in five schools in three countries. In 2011 he started a project connecting people in Ecuador and Manitoba. Now that he’s retired from teaching he’s volunteering with MCC in Honduras. He has retired from teaching, but not from eating copious amounts of chocolate.

  1. You spent most of your life as a teacher. What advice do you have for new teachers?
    • Love of life makes you a better teacher. Love whatever it is you love, spend time doing it, learn about it, experience it and bring that love and curiousity and experience into your classroom. Students know when their teacher is a mensch or a moron.
  2. How did you discover the small town of Puerto Lopez, Ecuador?
    • I was looking for a Spanish school in Ecuador so I could experience Holy Week in Quito. I heard Puerto Lopez had a gorgeous beach, and I love beaches. I checked to see if there was a Spanish school there and there was. That was enough for me.
  3. What are your plans for the future?
    • I’m going to try and age gracefully. I’ve spent my career near young people so I could stay young too. For the next three years I’m working with 18-30 year olds. After that I’m going to volunteer in early year schools so I can be with people that are even younger.
  4. What aspects of the Mennonite faith do you wish were more emphasized by Mennonites today? What aspects do you wish were disregarded?
    • Pacifism and working for social justice issues needs to be a bigger part of more Mennonite churches. Being evangelical has not been a good move as it is being hijacked by evil from US evangelical churches.
  5. What is your favourite South American food?
    • Fruit batidos, or smoothies are good enough to live on exclusively. Tropical fruits are straight from heaven and turned into smoothies with milk and ice is delicious.