Growing up in a place like Patagonia, the southernmost part of the world, is believed to raise children who may have a different view from those who grow up in big cities. Because of its distance from mostly everything, the new inventions and technologies that were flowing around the first world countries. Children have to be creative by nature in order to have fun and communication skills are vital to get grown ups to understand the young generations. Surrounded by mountains, volcanoes, cows and the vast Pacific ocean, is where I grew up. Nature was my pillar. Everything we did as children with my friends and brothers involved nature; biking the hills, finding and hunting mice with our dogs, herding sheep and cows in the countryside, that was my type of fun. I would not change it for anything.
Once Kindergarten gives space to Primary School and finally to High School, people have the realization that the big step has to be given and we start thinking on what exactly we want to do for the rest of our lives. My realization began when my nephew Thomas was born. He became my whole universe. I loved taking care of him, helping him with his meals, baths, diapers, anything that involved him. We have thirteen years of difference so he was more like the little brother I never had since I am the youngest of my siblings. Then, in High School, I volunteered in a small school on a nearby island, to help children there who were struggling with certain subjects in school. There was this little girl, who must have been around twelve at the time, who was a complete rebel. She did not want to hear us out or participate in the activities we had prepared. One time, I stepped outside of the classroom where she was passing time and I told her a very funny joke I had just heard that day and she laughed so much that she started following me. She just wanted a little more attention that the rest. I gave it to her. In return, she went back to the classroom and started listening to our workshops and actually improved her grades! That was the time I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I went to University, and loved every second of it. Being with the children, seeing what an entirely different world a class of twenty can be. Each one is its own universe and we as teachers are there to help them develop their worlds and bring them together and help them see beyond.
I decided to become an Au Pair because I wanted to see how other kids around the world did. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I started with my toddlers. Ethan and Hunter. They were two years old at the time. It was a big challenge and it was incredibly fun taking care of them. Seeing how everyday they learned a new word, a new color, how to run and not to fear certain things. Causing an impact on children, benefiting them to become better people, is something that really passionates me. Then, I moved to my seven and nine year-old kids. They were a challenge in a totally different way. The three of them were experiencing changes at the same time. Being able to help them through them was really interesting. Teaching them how to be humble and good people was my main goal. The rest got done on its own. Once children trust and love you, all the battles in between have no importance because you know that you are important to them and whatever you try to teach them will reach out for their whole lives.
After being an Au Pair for two years, I decided to go back on teaching and applied for an ESL position in Istanbul, Turkey. It seemed it was going to be a great challenge for me, since neither I spoke the language nor the kids had any knowledge of another language that was not Turkish. It turned out, I loved every minute of it. The kids were so eager and craved for learning that it became a normal routine for them trying to articulate each of the English words I taught them. I had a big class, 18 children aged between four and five. The first month was very hard for me, trying to make myself understood while entering a brand new culture but the children made it so easy. They were teaching me while I was teaching them. They took everything in with a beautiful smile and whenever they did not understand a task, they were always asking to clarify. Again, communication is and will always be a person’s best while working with children.
It is a vital piece in life when you find what passionates you and moves you as a person. I was blessed with the realization of it soon in life and have been trying to develop it throughout my whole career life.