| Apr 10, 2017
Coordinator Profile: Claudia
With a contagious sense of joy, well-being and humility about her, Claudia has a disposition that seems tailor-made for early childhood education. She believes in education because she knows that through it, she can develop her community and help her country. But above all, it’s her immense love of kids that fuels her to work as a Magical Classroom teacher and coordinator. Claudia teaches and coordinates 10 classrooms in the region of Retalhuleu, supporting her peers to strengthen their own classrooms and move their communities forward, especially by working with parents: an aspect of Magical Classroom that Claudia has found to be integral to the kids’ success.
Claudia is one of 5 children, with two older siblings and two younger siblings. Her mother never had much work, and sells food and tortillas to support her children. Though her mother only completed the 2nd grade, education is highly valued in Claudia’s family, as they know it’s the key to creating opportunities in the future. Through working with her mom and receiving support from scholarships, Claudia was able to study to become a teacher. She was connected with Magical Classroom in 2016, and is extremely grateful for the opportunity to follow her passion, continuing to learn and grow as an educator and coordinator. Last year Claudia taught 15 students, who are now all in primary school. Their teachers say they are far more prepared than the other students, which is extremely rewarding for Claudia to hear, and motivates her to work with other communities and help the program to expand, supporting as many kids as possible.
During her first year as a teacher, Claudia quickly realized parental involvement is essential for the success of the kids. She goes to each student's’ house to invite the parents to come to meetings, in order to see the location of the classroom, learn more about the program, and get involved by helping with activities and learning how to work with their kids at home. If the parents aren’t motivated to help their kids learn, then their attendance rate drops, and they don’t do as well in class. So, Claudia wants to help parents see their kids’ capabilities from a young age, and realize that they can accomplish their dreams and contribute to better opportunities for everyone in the country. Not only is Claudia inspired by witnessing the daily growth and development of her students, but she also finds great excitement in helping parents get involved and participate in activities- she knows the progress of the students and the engagement of the parents are inseparable. As a coordinator, she hopes to support her peers by helping them to work with the parents, because in new communities it can be difficult to generate support from families. More than anything, Claudia wants to help her peers stay in contact with the parents, and will support them in this way however they need- undoubtedly, with a huge smile on her face all the while.
It is for educators like Claudia, Astrid, and Arcadio that Magical Classroom lives up to its name, and continues to thrive and grow: their resilience, compassion, and commitment to having a positive impact on their communities from the youngest members up is truly inspirational.