Introducing Two Student Teachers: Mr. Roberts and Ms. Macomber

The Work, Life, and Love of a Couple from Maine


Mr. Roberts and Ms. Macomber says “Goodbye” to the DIS community. Photo by Youni Choi.

Youni Choi, Luna Kang, Grace Chae, and Jade Lee

Affiliated with the partnership between Daegu International School and the University of Maine Farmington, Mr. Roberts and Ms. Macomber traveled halfway across the globe this summer for student teaching in Korea. The energy this couple radiates brightens the ECC and high school English classrooms every day. The Jets Flyover presents their insights on teaching, personal life, and their love story. 

Teaching and Impressions of DIS

What drew you to DIS?

Ms. Macomber (M): Our university has an affiliation with this school, so they are connected with the school.

Mr. Roberts (R): Yes, it was a program in the University of Farmington, the same college that Mr. Coleman went to. Hailee [Ms. Macomber] had an interest in South Korea, so we decided to apply to the program. 

What do you like most about DIS?

M: I really like the community of the whole school with teachers, students, and parents. From what I’ve seen so far, it’s really connected and casual.

R: My favorite part is that the students and the community seem to be tightly knit, since a lot of them have been here since elementary. Accepting new students – I really love that part, and also with the international students.

What makes a ‘good day’ at school? 

M: For me, if the kids are in a good mood, I think the day can start in a good mood. If they come in and they already don’t want to be here, then it’s a little bit hard to pull them into learning. Part of my job is to have and give positive energy so it kinda depends on how I woke up and how they woke up. It just comes from there. 

R: A good day is when I get a chance to interact with the students in class and have engaging activities, and the students are participating and they are motivated to learn. 

How do you remember your students’ names?

M: For me, that took a while. I only have eleven students, but with the masks on, all of my girls look the same, and I don’t mean that in a bad way or racially. But they wear their hair in the same way in a ponytail, and they wear the same hairbands, and they are wearing the same uniforms, so it took me a solid two weeks to get all the names down. And it all comes with personalities and little eye movements and things like that and laughs. 

R: It took me a while. I’m still working on it because I have a bunch of high schoolers rotating through, and I am working with Ms. Loutsch and Mr. Hinkle. But I have to have conversations with them [the students]. I’ll be like, “What’s your name?” and have a 1:1, face-to-face conversation.

Are you spending any time in lunch clubs, ASAs, or sports? Which ones are you enjoying the most, and why?

M: My kindergarteners don’t do ASAs, so I decided to do Girls Scouts on Fridays. I wanted to help Ms. Suozzo, and I thought it would be a good way to meet and get outside with the kids. 

R: I help with coaching high school boys’ volleyball on Mondays and Fridays, help out with Lewis’s photography lunch club on Wednesdays, and I help with Journalism ASA on Thursdays. I can’t pick a favorite. I can’t do it. I like them all equally because they are all different things and they are all the things that I’m passionate about.

I’ve heard that student teaching is tough. Is that true for you? Why or why not?

M: Yes. I think it is very tough. It is the toughest thing I’ve had to do in my four years of college. That’s because I think this is essentially a full-time job, because we are here every single day and we work with our mentor teachers all day, and we also still have university work to be doing after school. So, it’s a lot. It’s stressful because you have an experienced teacher watching you all day long and when you mess up, they’re like, “I saw that~!” 

R: It’s definitely tough. Essentially we are doing this full-time job and then, on top of that, we have university work, and we have expectations. I mean, we chose this program, and I am really glad we chose it, but we had to adapt to life in Korea, which adds on to our student teaching process. 

What motivated the two of you to become teachers?

M: I don’t know what else I would do if I wasn’t working with kids. Other than one time I had a job in a store, but I never had a job that didn’t involve working with children, so I think for me, it came naturally. Every day, I’m like, “is this really what I want to do?” But I come back every day, so I think so. 

R: It’s in my bloodline to be a teacher. My mom is a teacher, and my uncle and grandparents are all educators. So when I was thinking of stuff I wanted to do, I wanted to make a difference. I want to influence people’s lives positively and I would pass out if I was in the medical field. I can’t be in an office all day. I just don’t have the brains for that. I came down to teaching and making a difference in students’ lives, and hopefully helping them build a better future.

What are the best and worst parts of being a teacher? 

M: The best part is how rewarding it can be for me. Because some days, you have a really fun activity and your kids are having so much fun that they’re laughing and they’re smiling. This is amazing. This is the best thing I could ever do. And there are other days when two kids are fighting, and one kid starts crying, and the other kids throw up and so on, crying or something. And you’re kind of sitting there and thinking, “Why am I here? What am I doing? But that’s not even the worst. Sometimes you doubt yourself. So for me, the doubts I get about myself are the worst parts of teaching for me.  

R: The best part of teaching for me is when students interact with my lesson plans and they engage in a positive way. They enjoy it or they have an “ah-ha” moment when they understand the material. That’s really awesome for me to see them grow as learners. The worst part is probably when they don’t talk at all. When you ask questions, there’s silence. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

M: Hopefully married, with a dog and our two cats. He already asked me, haha! I hope that we just have a good life. I just want to really know where I’m going in life for sure. I hope to have a master’s degree.

R: I hope to have a job that I will like. I will not say teaching, because I don’t know, but a job I like going to every day. I want to settle somewhere where I want to live, and still be exploring different parts of the world.

Mr. Roberts and Ms. Macomber look forward to their lives as an engaged couple. Photo courtesy of Ms. Macomber.

Personal Life

What do you do when you have free time?

M: Sleep, watch TV, and eat a lot of Korean snacks. We also like to explore new places and just try new things.

R: Play volleyball, play basketball, and see what the school has to offer.

Do you have a favorite Korean food? 

M: Absolutely 짜장면(Jajangmyeon)! If you know where there are any good places around, please tell me because I’ve been looking.  

R: Me? Kimbap, bulgogi, and… chicken mayo! That’s delicious. I love that.

Life in the States

Tell us about your hometown: its size, population, fun things to do, etc.

M: It’s small. Unity, Maine has about 2000 people. It is quite small. We would have no buildings like these around. Anywhere, nowhere near. It takes probably about a 25-minute car ride to get to a grocery store, and then there are a lot of cows and farms.

R: I grew up in Waldo, Maine. It has about 860 people in it. Belfast – that’s my true hometown. It has about 7000 people. It’s a coastal town, and they have a lot of local shops and seafood restaurants. Belfast is known for lobster.

How is the University of Maine Farmington? What is the most fun thing to do there?

M: The University of Maine Farmington is also in a small area, again. It’s really beautiful. Geographically, there are a lot of mountains. The most fun thing to do in Farmington is to go to the grocery store, get yourself a good snack, and then stop at McDonald’s and go home. That is it.

R: That’s the most “American” thing you could have said. 

M: It’s true though. What else could you do in Farmington?

R: There are hiking spots and skiing is really popular there. But in “Maine,” golfing. There’s a lot of land for that, so it’s really cheap. 

Love Story

What is your origin story – when and where did you first meet each other, and how did you fall in love?

R: We went to the same middle school. I didn’t know who she was in middle school, but apparently, we did Yearbook club together. 

M: I knew who he was.

6th grade Ms. Macomber and 7th grade Mr. Roberts were in the yearbook club together before they really knew each other. Photo courtesy of Ms. Macomber.

R: She did the talent show in middle school and that’s when I first saw her. I was like, “She’s pretty good, and talented.” Then, it wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school and her freshman year of high school that I saw her in the lobby of the high school, that girl who did the talent show, and then – 

M: – then, he told his friend (because his friend knew me) that he liked me, and then his friend told me. And then I messaged him on Facebook, and we didn’t talk in person for two weeks because we were too scared. 

R: We are both introverts.

M: We were too scared to talk to each other in person, so we ignored each other at school, and then, at one point, we had to meet face to face. He asked me to go to the movies with him, and my parents brought me to the movies. They dropped me off, but they decided to stay. So my parents were on my first date. We just clicked very well. We’ve been together since then.

R: I went to college before she went to college. We didn’t force it, but we still wanted to be together so I went to a college close by so that we could see each other on weekends. 

M: It worked out really well. We had similar tastes in careers at the time, so it worked out well.

R: Now, we’re here!

Mr. Roberts and Ms. Macomber celebrate Ms. Macomber’s high school graduation. Photo courtesy of Ms. Macomber.

Has student teaching been tough on your relationship? How?

R: We don’t see each other during the day, but honestly, that’s helpful. In a “good” way. She does her thing and I do my thing, and then we get together after school, and we can talk with each other about our days.

M: Haha, it makes sense. The more you spend time with another person, the more you need space away. It is a little different because we are so used to being on the same college campus – we would see each other between classes and we even lived together in the same house. 

R: Now we have similar schedules, so it’s relatable.

What is something special about your partner that DIS should know (each person answers about the other person)? 

M: He’s a very passionate person. So, when he cares about something, he really cares about it. He doesn’t do anything half-heartedly. He’s gonna do it, and he’s gonna do it all the way. He’s going to work really hard. He’s gonna make it as good as he can. He doesn’t think he is, but I think he is very talented in the way he draws. Also, he’s very good at golf. He’s genuinely a good golfer. And he’s handsome!

R: She’s very talented musically. I don’t think people know that at DIS. She can play the flute and the piccolo, and she can sing.

What is your advice to seniors about dating when they get to college?

M: You have to know yourself first. Like, in college, you should always put yourself first. You should always be selfish because you are going to college for your education and for your life, not somebody else’s. 

R: Just be conscious of where you are and who you are. If you think you are in a bad situation or in a bad relationship, you are, so get a sense of yourself. Just be careful. 

M: In the United States, it’s very diverse, so it will be different. Depending on where you are, you might get a lot of attention or no attention. 

R: Just join the clubs you’re interested in, make friends, and there might be someone.

Do you want to have kids one day? Why?

M: Yes, I do want two kids. Because I’m adorable and he’s adorable, so adorable babies!

R: Yeah. I think that we, at some point, would like children. I sometimes don’t like children, but I feel like I would like my own. 

M: I’ve always wanted to be a mom, and he kind of knew that from the start.

R: It seems fun. Like it’d provide a lot of energy and passion. I am going to foster that into a PGA professional golfer someday.

The Jets Flyover supports Mr. Roberts and Ms. Macomber’s careers. We can’t wait to see them become amazing teachers in the near future and influences their students. Thank you for all that you’ve contributed in the past four months. DIS wishes you only the best.