I wanted to ensure that, in my classroom, all abilities are respected .
"Thinking about my past, I think it never crossed my mind teaching as a profession, perhaps because of the fact that teaching career in Brazil hasn’t been value in Brazil for a long time. Being a teacher was no longer an ambition for people in my generation.
Interestingly, now I remember, when I was in high school, I did some vocational tests. Among the professions, I was advised about “teaching” as a good choice for me, but we always get the feeling that these tests are all the same as those from teen magazines.
I ended up going to study Propaganda and Advertising. I was not sure about what I wanted to do, but I always liked dealing with creativity and stuff.
When I was in my sixth semester, I went to Los Angeles (in theory to learn English) but as I played drums, I ended up learning almost no English and spent most of the time playing drums with my new friends. When I came back, many questions began to haunt my head. I was very young, was 19 years old at the time. I didn’t know if I should keep doing my course or if I should stop it. Just decided that I wanted to learn English. I begin to take lessons and studding the language. At the same time, there was a job in an American school that was behind my house. People told me, "Oh, you like children, the job will be easy.". I remember thinking: “Great! I'll make some money, study and work close to home."
I worked there for three and a half years as an assistant and loved it, learned a lot, every day. I accompanied a wonderful teacher. Time went by and I got in my last year of college. It was time to make compulsory internship. I started to really consider dropping out college and do another course. But there was some family pressure, "Imagine, a teacher. You will starve. "
I remember thinking that there were many teachers in school and that I could be one of them. But in the school I was working this was not a possibility. It wasn’t common for assistants to became teachers.
I finished college and went to work in my field. Entered the market of Advertising. I went to work in business and stayed for six years working in multinational companies. At my last job in this area, I was working with food products, making licensing brands, products for children, things I would never eat and that I would never give to my children. At the time I was living with one of my best friends, who was separated. She was a teacher too. We were always discussing “What kind of job is that I'm doing?”. I began to miss teaching. I ended up having an arguing me with one of my bosses, because I’ve always been a very idealistic person and I was fired. And that was the best thing that happened in my life.
I lost my position in the company and came back to schools as class assistant. After that, I never stopped. Everything was clear: Education is my passion.
I went to college and Pedagogy was where I found myself. In college I learned a lot that helped me to be a good teacher. Even already having experience, I developed new techniques and ways of looking at the whole process. Of course you always have some difficult subjects to be exploited or that are farther away from the practice, but I believe I put a lot of what I learned in college in use in my days as a teacher. A good mix is always theory and practice: If I say that the teacher only becomes professional when going to school, I'll be lying. There is much to research and develop. On the other hand, if I say that only teachers with a certain academic curriculum are professionals also will not be being honest. You have to have both. Because if you do not have the academic part, intellectual, you can not analyze the issues that are going on in your room and make a decent planning. But if you have no experience, you do not have real field situations. In the area of education, has a lot of smart people, specialist, but dealing with children, it is almost a talent that has to be developed. Especially if it is a large room with small children.
When I was little, I hated going to school! I think Freud explains it! I hated so much.
Of course, you always have some teachers that we remember fondly. I had a science teacher, he was a dear. I think I was in fifth or sixth grade. He was named Professor Carlos. In high school I also had some nice teachers, but even affection I have for my first teacher. Even really enjoying it, my mother always says that I was crying to school. Because I started school early, I had two and a half, three years. My mother was pregnant with my younger brother and I was crying, screaming the whole way.
I remember getting screaming and kicking the teacher. But then I was right, because he liked her and toys.
I think I would be what people call a "child with a strong personality." All I did not want to, did not. My handwriting books were incomplete and I never accepted some tasks with which I did not agree. I remember those days when the school doctor would examine all children. I did not accept, "I went to the doctor, do not need it, thank you."
I was the only child he did not examine. I always questioned everything: "Why do I have to learn?".
Once we grow up, go to school means more staying with friends, sit at the precipice. I had my class, a lot of boys. It was that Rock'n Roll era. School was talk of Heavy Metal with friends.
But my first teacher, remember its sweetness. It's a good memory I have.
The second teacher I remember horrible things. My memory is very good, remember things that happened at school, when I was very small. I should have four years at the time, some messed boys in the classroom. One was called Mario Andrew and the other Leandro. I will never forget this scene. They were terrible, messy. Children with a fiery energy, you know?
This teacher got mad and grabbed a roll of toilet paper and folded, making a huge loop in their heads. He put the two standing at the door of the other room, one in each door. Then he said, "This here is Maria Andreia, and that's the Leandra. And they will stay here because they do not know how to behave in the classroom. " All children laughed and shouted. I remember being shocked by it. Everyone laughed and I not amused at all. I found it all too surreal. This story touched me very much. I was very small and it all seemed a very great evil. Do you imagine such a thing happening today?
I have spoken a lot about these my memories all, including therapy. I feel that all adults we want to heal our inner child and this is directly reflected in the way we act. I, for example, wanted to ensure that in my classroom all the skills were respected because I never felt that my ability was respected. No matter how many people say that this is exceeded, the great watershed in my life was the book Multiple Intelligences. I especially remember a paragraph that says that if IQ tests had been invented by the dancers, other skills would be assessed. But as they were developed by mathematicians and scientists, everything is very restricted this logic part. I remember reading the book and think, "That's it!"
I studied his whole life in the same school. And in short, it was a concrete box.
I had art class or music or theater. Physical education was one thing to choose teams. I was always the last to be chosen, by the way, because I was always very bad with sports. My hand is tiny, never had ability for it. I remember being in the bathroom and stay there singing with my amigas.Então I always felt a lack of spaces where I could express myself in school. Where I could put into practice all this creativity that I had. On the other hand, at home, it was very encouraging. It was kind of compensation.
Today I make things happen. Parents always tell me that children get angry when you do not class. Of course, there is the child who suffers more from the separation of the parents, because they are very small. But most of them love to go to school. And this is the result of my work. I always wanted to make sure that, first, the children would be respected. And besides, they would be happy going to school, ensuring that there would be no such selectivity in the amount of the intelligence and their abilities.
Of course the whole process we change much. This is called learning.
Things I did at the beginning of his career and thought it was cool, now do not do. And okay, because he had no knowledge I have today.
Today I work in a different school. It is one in child centered education. There is a concern to work all aspects of learning, the child as a whole. Respecting their time. It is important to be clear: Many people find that respect the child's time means that it will not be challenged. This is not it. It is challenging in what the child is able to do at that time. I usually realize their characteristics. There are children that need to be pushed, otherwise they do not leave the place. Further, if you push, they catch. These are the children who need to be pulled by hand, an attitude more "we, me." This is to educate. It is understood that the human being is not a little robot. They are not all the same and that nothing works for everyone. So we have to develop a range of possible approaches to use with children.
I do not think, for example, that a more traditional approach is bad. I believe it is a bad idea to think that this approach will work with all children. This is an anti-democratic way of educating. There are many children like this way of doing. It is an intellectual challenge for some of them, they like the homework, the great books, complicated tasks. For these children, the real challenge is to make them run out of it, understand that there is importance in the entertainment, creativity, expression. The challenge is to show that this intellectual is a part of all that it is. I always tell parents, it is important to be something else. Some tell me, "Wow, my son is very smart, he says up to three million.". I look and ask, "What else?".
There is more than that in education. I have a three-year student who can give ten, "pirouettes" followed. She can not read yet, but give the ten "pirouettes" and Balinese dance music better than many professional dancers. Why do we have to believe that the child count of three million is better than that dancing? It need not be. We always have an area where we shine and another that is a challenge for us.
The school's role, in my view, is to give tools. Most of my students are children of people who want the world to change. They are parents who want to see the world moving in a more positive direction, not only for the environment, but in the general sense of humanity even. The school has this function of value, not just the students, but the whole community. This includes children, teachers, parents, staff and those who live in the vicinity.
Here in Bali, people find it beautiful to be a teacher. It's something almost sacred.
In fact, they never reacted negatively when I said I was a teacher, here or in Brazil. Everyone thinks something is "beautiful" to be a teacher. There are always two reactions. One is the "Wow, what a beautiful your work!" And the other is "Wow, how can you stand?".
Society, in general, respect the teachers. Of course this has nothing to do with being respected and taken seriously in the workplace. Local teachers, for example, suffer from lousy wages, do not have a good education, are trained as 30 years ago. They have a single line to be followed. If children can not keep up, they have to appeal to a particular teacher. Lack preparation and lack financial recovery. And look, I know teachers around the world. I do not know any teacher who receives a salary which is more than necessary to survive. No one who is in this area because of the good yields.
The school I work expect me to be a facilitating the learning process. That's my job: to instigate critical thinking of children. With small is more difficult, but my job is this. I hope my work will bear fruit, that all these seeds I'm planting generate beautiful flowers. I've had opportunity to meet former students, the first school I worked. Today they are 19 years old. One of them, was 3 years old when he was my student. She came here to Bali be voluntary and decided it will be a teacher. This was very exciting for me. And another former student of mine set up an NGO, was doing work in Africa. This is all very cool. When one receives message from parents and students to remember you fondly. In July I traveled, went to Berlin. There I found a family that I gave class for a while, and they feel homesick, have a good memory of who I am and what I represented in their lives.
Our job is to plant that seed. When parents appreciate it, the children always remember. This greatly increases the chance that this seed will flourish. Being a teacher is that, this bonus. It's tiring, but rewarding. I can speak of these characteristics to be a teacher, because I worked in other areas: office, warehouse, multinational, already had badge and extension. Being a teacher has a totally different quality of gratification. See that kid who has a hard time getting overcome challenges is wonderful. Merely to monitor this process makes the job worthwhile.
The seed I plant is a grain of humanity. I hope that my students are adults capable of empathy, they can be aware of all that and see more than a meter around themselves, I hope they are able to measure the impact of their decisions for the whole.
I think to ask anything to the teachers is very difficult, but we wish we can make plans that take into account the whole but also the individual. I hope we can know each of our students, we can apply this our planning for each child, listening more to what they have to say. We play a lot with them.
We teachers have a very important role in society. Good teachers can change the world. I say this because I know the impact of my work, and I recognize the impact of the work of other teachers. The change in the world can only be through education."