Brian Terlaje keeps Chamorro culture alive - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Brian Terlaje keeps Chamorro culture alive

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Sinot Brian Terlaje, who has been a Chamorro studies teacher at John F. Kennedy High School for the past three years, has been teaching for a decade. He says initially he wanted to pursue music and be a performer but then things took a turn."I've learned and grasped all the wisdom from my elders and I'm still learning Chamorro. I wouldn't change anything. I love doing what I do!"

So how does Terlaje go about teaching his students? "I'm a kinesthetics-style teacher - everytime there is a lesson going on, I tie in my personal experience and use a hands on activity to engage kids and make them want to learn," he explained.

Make no mistake: Sinot Terlaje has a passion for what he does and is well aware of his purpose, despite obstacles and challenges. He said, "To give of my heart and soul and show them that the Chamorro culture and the language is a vibrant part of our island. It doesn't matter if it's tomorrow or today that we celebrate it, it's here and it should continue. Even beyond their times, but take what they have learned and apply it in their everyday lives."

Terlaje hopes that students leave his classroom with a sense of identity, saying, "One of my students he is leaving off-island for the military service and he is so proud of who he is. It gave him a sense of direction. If my students can give me at least one sentence, I know I've done my part as your teacher."

He adds that he wants all his students to stand proud, and to be strong, and showcase who they are.

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