Beginning the Journey

by Javiera Gutierrez

I am from Santiago, Chile and I am an English teacher. It is hard to describe the reality of this community given the fact that I come from a big city. 6,026,797 people live in Santiago and Potrero only has 400; therefore, my life has changed in many aspects. I work in Brasilito, so I have to take the public bus every day for 35 minutes. The bus is not very comfortable and sometimes it doesn’t show up, but I believe that I have a big responsibility with the Brasilito community. I teach English classes to young students from Materno to 6th grade and the classes only last 45 minutes and attendance varies day to day.

While the changing number of students in class is sometimes frustrating, I recall something one of my professors in college used to say: our world as teachers can get much better if we are able to change at least one student’s life. One big gesture is enough to motivate a young learner to take chances and fight to be happy.

My goal for this season is to connect with my students, building their trust in me, increasing their attendance, and hopefully, in this way we can learn from each other. Moreover, I will try to gain as much energy and happiness as I can from them because I’ve never seen kids like the ones we have in AM. They are so willing to learn and have fun that I wish all of us were like them.

Javiera outside the classroom in Brasilito

Javiera outside the kids’ classroom in Brasilito

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