I am a high school teacher at the International School of Stavanger, in Norway — the country which the UN has yet-again named the Number One best country to live in.  It’s true that Norway is a good place to live, and I enjoy my life here (but I miss my family back home — Washington State).

I studied history and secondary education at Seattle Pacific University, earning my B.A. in 1995.  In 1999 I earned my M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Washington Tacoma.

For the 2010-2011 school year, I’m pleased to be teaching 10th grade history, Comparative Government, 12th grade IB Psychology and 11th & 12th grades Theory of Knowledge.

I am happily married and we have a wonderful son who was born in June 2008 — and a second boy on the way, due to arrive at the end of November 2010.  I love to spend time with my family — currently we spend a lot of time looking at busses, motorcycles, garbage trucks, tractors and digger machines.

Ten Things about Ms. Saar

1.  I’m pregnant. I know, it’s pretty obvious, just by looking at me.  We’re expecting our second child at the end of November.  I’ll be your teacher until the beginning of November.  Mr. Jones & Dr. Duevel will hire someone to be your teacher.  I’ll give you more information when I have it =)

2.  I have 2 major pet peeves. 1.  When people ask “How are you?” or “How’s it going?” as a greeting.  I think this is particularly annoying if they’ve already passed me in the hallway long before they even finish the question.  If someone really wants to know how I am, then they should stop and talk to me.  Otherwise, just say, “hi!”.  And 2.  When smokers throw their cigarette butts on the sidewalk or street (or anywhere other than a garbage can).  If I threw my garbage on the ground, everyone would call it littering – taboo!  Why isn’t it considered littering when it’s a cigarette butt?

3.  I’ve always enjoyed school and learning. A couple of years ago I found my 12th grade yearbook when I was rummaging through a desk at my parents’ house.  Flipping through it reminds me that I had a great group of friends in high school who enjoyed school and the challenges it brought.  We were involved in sports, student council, university prep courses and lots of other stuff.  This brings me to point #4…

4.  The best advice I got from a teacher in high school was to get involved in my school and “make it mine”. He told me this sometime during my 9th grade year (that was in 1986-87!), and I think I’ll never forget it.  This tip has been easy to apply to high school, university, my friendships, my job here at ISS & a host of other areas.  Following this piece of advice has made a real difference in my life.

5.  I’m from the United States. I grew up about 40 miles/ 70 kilometers north of Seattle in the Northwest corner of the US.  I love to visit my family & friends there.  Although I haven’t lived in the Pacific Northwest since 2001, it will always feel like home.

6.  I enjoy traveling to new places. My husband & I like to see new things and eat new foods.  He’s a lot more adventurous than I am when it comes to eating, however!  Certain things are just too extreme for me – like the dehydrated chicken foot that his friend brought him from Hong Kong.  That being said, our favorite souvenir to bring back from travels is yummy food that is different from what we find in the shops here in Stavanger.

7.  Sometimes I miss my family and friends from home. I certainly miss my sister, brother, parents & grandparents, but it’s most difficult to be away from my two DARLING nephews (7 years old and 3 years old).  Now that I have a son of my own (Espen, born in June 2008), I miss my family even more.

8.  I think it’s really important to do things that I enjoy. Most of all, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our son.  I’m also active in my church, with my friends, doing musical stuff, I read a lot, and I try to do some athletic stuff, too.  In the past couple of years, I’ve started to have fun learning to cook better.  And I enjoy my job here where I get to work with teenagers every day! (I hope you will get involved in things you enjoy, too.)

9.  I think it’s important to do what we can to conserve resources on the Earth. I hope you will prioritize conservation as well.  Reduce paper by printing on both sides or emailing me an assignment (ssaar@isstavanger.no).  Turn out the lights when you leave the room.  Recycle everything possible.  Turn off the computer when you’re going to be away from it for a few hours.  Take the bus or walk when you can.  I’m not perfect at doing all these things, but I try.

10.  I love to read. I read magazines, newspapers and lots and lots of books.  I especially enjoy travel literature, biographies and fiction stories which teach me about how people live their lives.