My Inspiration

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a teacher. But what confirmed and solidified my passion for teaching…that's a whole another story!

As a little girl, I had an au pair who lived with my family. Her name was Antonia and she was no more than 5 years older than me. So at the time, I was 9 and she was 14. Antonia came from a family of six children and she was the oldest. Her parents couldn't provide for all the children, so she came to work for us. She stopped attending school before she turned 8, but I saw how eager she was to learn to read and write. Whenever I wrote a card or letter to her, she asked me what I had written.

So in third grade, I remember coming home from school every day, and with my third grade knowledge, teaching her what I could. I remember showing her how to put letters together to form words and eventually sentences. She picked up on this rather quickly, and with that knowledge, she wrote me the letter below.

I received this letter at the lowest point in my life when my grandmother passed away after I moved to New York City at the age of 11. I couldn't go back to Paraguay to celebrate her life with the rest of my family because I had school. She gave this letter to my dad who brought it back to the States. In this letter, Antonia comforts me. Even with her less than perfect spelling and grammar, she manages to get her message across. She writes that my grandma is in a better place and she is watching us from above.

This is when it hit me - I knew that teaching was part of who I was. And I couldn't see myself being in any other profession.

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