Casa Teacher Interview: Ms. Maribel!
This month our featured teacher is Ms. Maribel! Ms. Maribel is from Mexico City and has been with Casa for over a year. Those who walk into her classroom will notice her bright personality, big smile, and loving hugs she gives her students. Ms. Maribel misses her friends, family, and dog back in Mexico but she has had a great time playing with the snow and admiring the scenery in Minnesota. Get to know Ms. Maribel!
Why did you choose to work at Casa?
I first found out about the program through a friend and I instantly fell in love with everything Casa does. I researched Casa and I saw the fun days, food program, development program and the more I kept reading the more I wanted to work at Casa! It is the perfect fit for my personality and values.
What is your favorite activity to do with the kids?
My favorite activity as a teacher in my Toddlers B classroom is our large group reunions. I work with very small children so when we gather it always surprises me how well they sit down and how they focus on what I am saying! I am constantly amazed by their capacity to learn and absorb new information. In these groups we will ask the children to follow along, like if we are doing some yoga, we ask them to just try and test things out. Other things my students love in our circle meetings are talking about animals, talking about the theme of the month, and the country of the month.
How is Casa different?
Casa is truly unique. Here you will notice that we are friendly, loving, and have fun with our students. We greet parents kindly and talk to them whenever we can. I also really appreciate the support I receive from our Center Directors, Roxy and Sharon. They actually listen to comments that we have and supply us with everything we need to be successful!
What is your favorite Casa memory?
My favorite Casa memory is celebrating the Holi Festival with my class! It was the very first time I had done anything like that and it was so beautiful and fun to see my children get messy and learn something new.
What is your favorite Casa core value?
Bilingualism. I love that parents in the United States want their children to speak other languages and that they went out of their way to enroll their children here. It is nice to see that we share this core value with our families. Bilingualism is expressed in many different ways and I love it when parents come in and try to speak Spanish to us. It makes me feel welcomed and like I matter.
Why did you want to be a teacher in the first place?
My first degree is in Psychology, but when I was in Mexico I decided to make a jump and work in a school. It was truly the best decision ever. I fell in love with education and have never left since. I love that in a classroom setting everyday is different, new things are always happening, and it is also a surprise.
What inspires you to keep teaching?
I truly want to make a difference and educate children so that they grow up and treat everyone with respect, be kind to animals, and help make our planet more sustainable.
As a teacher, how do you create a good learning environment?
I am a very loving person and I think that helps a lot in the classroom because then children feel safe and secure and focus on learning. I will play around with them all the time and be on the floor with them. Another thing I do to create a good learning environment for them to learn Spanish is I will always encourage them. Children at this age understand everything I am saying but sometimes they have some trouble expressing themselves. So I will talk to them a lot and encourage them to try and try because eventually they will start speaking more.
If you had a superpower what would it be? This is not a typical superpower but I would choose to have the power of being remembered. I know my students are very young and will most likely not remember me so I would choose this because I will always remember all of them!
Favorite food since you arrived in the United States? Cheese Curds
What is your secret talent? I am really good at hula hooping
What’s your favorite dessert? I love chocolate cake and the cherry pie from Perkins
Favorite children’s book? “Buenas Noches Gorilla” because everytime I read it the children are always super engaged and pay attention.