I have always had a thirst to get to know the person behind me in line, the person sitting next to me, the person that won’t look me in the eye. My mom says I am a lot like my dad, always striking up conversations with the stranger that crosses my path. It doesn’t occur to me often that other people don’t have this same curiosity, and my tendency stems from a root of love for God, which in turn becomes a love for people.
People are fascinating to me. People always bring culture with them, like my high school friend, Rosena Guerrero, a Mexican by heritage and an American by birth. She taught me basic Spanish and translated while I attempted to speak with her parents (even a language barrier didn’t stop me then!).
While studying to be a teacher, my interest in Spanish grew as I interacted with bilingual, bicultural students living in the Elgin, Illinois, area. I also had the privilege of travelling on several mission projects that opened my eyes further to the world of cultures that surround us.
One of those mission projects took place in San José, Costa Rica. Little did I know thatI would move to San José in August of 2008 for my first teaching position, my first real Spanish immersion experience, and my first out-of-the-USA living arrangement. Talk about change!! During three years, I learned the bus system of San José, learned Spanish well enough to even speak a bit of pachuco (Costa Rican slang), and taught 56 international students at two different private schools.
In July 2011, I moved back to the Elgin area, and my Spanish skills and teaching experience gained me a position in a public elementary school teaching English Language Learners. The students are generally poor and know little about the world except what happens in their neighborhood and in Mexico. I basically teach English while speaking Spanglish, while using tons of pictures and hand motions, and while attempting to inspire learning in the depths of these young minds.
In January 2012, I began studies to receive my Masters in Education. I have a continued hunger to learn (I know, I’m a nerd J) so that my classroom, my character, my relationships, and my experiences will be that much richer in insight about this world we share.
Summary: interest in people, love for learning
All that to say, I am blogging again (!) to capture snapshots from life during this year of teaching and studying. I can’t promise that this blog will be as inspiring as the last one, as this time I am not living abroad and don’t have crazy stories like volcano hiking and major mosquito bites. What I can promise is that I will keep you updated on my latest classroom ideas, character changes, relationship triumphs and challenges, and shaping experiences.
After all, life is for sharing!!