Casa Teacher Interview: Ms. Milena
Get to know Ms. Milena! Ms. Milena is from Columbia and has been working with us since 2020. In Columbia, she was a lawyer but decided that she wanted to work with children instead as she had always enjoyed teaching casually. Read more about how she positively impacts the lives of our children with her experiences and skills!
Why did you choose Casa?
I chose Casa because I have always loved being around children but I did not have the opportunity back in Columbia to do so. But when I found Casa, I immediately loved it because I knew I had a passion for working with children and I was happy to hear that Casa would support my efforts to develop professionally as a teacher. I love using my natural skills of taking care of children and learning how to be a better teacher. Another thing I love is that at Casa I get to share my experiences, speak my language, and teach about different cultures!
How is Casa different from other schools?
What makes Casa unique is that our children are learning a second language which by itself is a wonderful and amazing thing, but also that we truly value other cultures. We are so lucky to have people from all over Latin-America and our children get to learn the authentic side of each culture and learn how we actually express ourselves.
How would you describe your classroom?
In my classroom I work with one and a half to two year old children so they are always running around, playing, and expressing their different emotions. So I’m always caring for them, interacting, and being attentive. I love that all of my children are different and there is always lots of giving and receiving love.
How do you help a student who may be struggling making friends?
At this age, my children mostly sit and play by themselves and are exploring things. But they are also getting to the stage where they are more curious and want to interact with others. So I encourage that by sitting both of them down to play and making sure they share things with one another. I let them explore how to interact with others and be friendly.
How do you help a child who is upset?
I make sure to give them my love and also ask what is going on. I will try to give them different options and help them work out solutions to make the situation better. My goal is to help them manage their feelings and be respectful of what they are experiencing without dismissing their feelings and I focus on listening to them.
What has been the most useful Corazoncitos course you have taken and why?
All of the courses have been very useful for me and they have helped me so much with my job! These courses help me work on areas where I might be lacking and they help me develop even more. My favorite course was one we had recently where we talked about race, how to appropriately talk about it in the classroom, and how to promote the concepts of respecting and accepting one another. It is very relevant for the time we live in now and I was happy that Casa took the initiative to talk about that with us.
What have you learned from your students?
I have learned to give lots of love and respect to everyone, and they have taught me to be patient. Another thing they have taught me is that one should always value life.
What is your favorite memory at Casa?
My favorite memory was the picnic we had with the families last year! It was amazing to see my children interacting with their parents and just observing how they behave with them versus how they behave in the classroom. And I really enjoyed talking to the parents and getting to know them because that also helps me understand my kids even more.
What tips do you have for encouraging Spanish at home or after graduation?
I would encourage parents to play TV in Spanish and read books in Spanish to keep growing their vocabulary and keep them engaged with the help of their favorite characters. I would also say that if parents have the opportunity to learn Spanish that would help their children a lot when it comes to retaining their Spanish.
What is your favorite music genre? Salsa and Vallenato
What is your favorite holiday? I love Christmas but also Thanksgiving because it is a day to be grateful for the loving people we have in our lives.
What was your favorite cartoon as a kid? Flintstones
Are you a tea or coffee drinker? Coffee! Black without anything.
If you could learn any other language what would it be? French.