Casa Teacher Interview: Ms. Ana!
Get to know one of our little one’s favorite teacher, Ms. Ana! Parents will notice their little ones excited for school and running into Ms. Ana’s arms as soon as the door opens. She is often described as a “kind-hearted individual with a loving personality.” Originally from El Salvador, Ms. Ana has been working at Casa for over three years. She truly has a passion for teaching and wants to open up their curiosity and love for education and Latin America. Get to know Ms. Ana!
Why did you choose to work at Casa?
Working with young children always drew my attention. Before Casa, I worked part-time as a Spanish instructor in the local Maple Grove school district, and every morning on my way to work I would pass by this center. The signs and their name drew me in. I had done some research about this place and I knew this is where I had to be to feel my happiest in life. So I decided to go out of my way one day and walk in. I walked in hoping that they would give me a chance and they did!
As I began the interview process I learned more and more about Casa and one of my favorite things is how different Casa is from other daycare centers. The main reason is the professionalism of the teachers. We are trained by amazing people and everyone wants to succeed in what they do.
What has been your favorite Casa memory?
I have had so many amazing memories but my favorite one that really sticks with me is when I came in to interview. I walked in and the children were all lined up along the wall outside of the gym and I made eye contact with a little girl. And I do not know what it was but I felt connected to that little girl. That is when I realized how beautiful and loving these little children are, it just made me feel happy. After I got the job and started working, that little girl ended up being in my class and I loved interacting with her!
How do you establish a connection/relationship with families?
When parents come in I always go to the door, greet them, and have a conversation with them if they have time. I love communicating with them about how their child is doing but also how they are doing. Through those conversations each day I slowly start to build relationships and partnerships, which only help the child even more.
What has been the most useful Corazoncitos course you have taken and why?
All of them truly have helped me so much and I love how it makes me a better teacher and in turn, it also helps my students. They get to benefit from everything I learn. There was a class Wendy, our Academic Coordinator, gave where we talked about children’s different emotions and how we as childcare providers can value each one and acknowledge them.
What tips do you have for encouraging Spanish at home or after graduation?
The two biggest things I would say are listening to music in Spanish and as a parent, taking the initiative to learn Spanish. There are great apps out there for free and in order to encourage Spanish at home, basic Spanish is what parents really need. I would also say watching movies in Spanish that are engaging for young children and repeating what they say. This way they will not only practice but also remember things with greater ease.
How do you work as a team with the other teachers in your classroom?
I love the two teachers that I work with! They are truly great and we have one of the best classroom teams at Casa. It is important to get along well because children pick up on body language and can tell when people do not like each other. Just by working together, we teach children a lot of different values such as being kind, listening, and working together.
Our team works great because during each activity we divide the classroom up into three different groups. This way we can then engage more closely with all children and make sure everyone is following along and engaging.
How do you help a child who is upset?
I will first ask them what happened to them and let them express themselves. I will then reassure them that everything will be okay and that what they are feeling will be temporary. And I will fill them up with hugs and hold them close so that they feel my warmth and feel safe!
Are you a tea or coffee drinker? I love black coffee with two packs of sugar!
Dish you miss the most? Cake Lido, it is something you can only get in El Salvador.
What is your secret talent? Painting!
What’s your favorite dessert? I really love cake with caramel or strawberries.
Favorite children’s book? El Principito. It teaches us to enjoy life, be generous, and be kind to others. It is a super important message for all!