Spotlight on our New Staff

Interview with Aline (a-LEE-nee), First Grade Teacher to the Dazzling Dragons


Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the Bay Area?
I guess the best way to describe me is driven and passionate. I love teaching and I absolutely love to be with children. They inspire me, nurture me and keep me hopeful for the future.

I grew up in Brazil and moved to the U.S. when I was 23 years old. At the time I was an unemployed economist who adored children. Since then my life has changed 180 degrees, and I feel blessed to have been living in the Bay Area for the past 17 years.  I live in San Jose with my husband, David, 13-year-old son, Uri, a cute but sassy brindled terrier, Tigresa (“female tiger” in Portuguese), and a moody “teenage” duck named Oregon.

What are your interests outside of Village? What are some things you and/or you and your family like to do for fun?
As a family, we always try to be outdoors as much as possible. We enjoy hiking, camping, skiing, swimming in the ocean, stand up paddling, and playing basketball.

I love reading, especially about education, nutrition and recently about neurology. I speak Portuguese and Spanish in addition to English.

What are some of your favorite and most rewarding moments as a teacher?
The most rewarding moments for me are when students start believing in themselves, that they can do it, and start taking chances out of their zone of comfort. My goal is to cultivate in the students the drive for learning, and for them to believe that they can do whatever they put their energy into. The universal “aha” moment is also very rewarding– when a student “gets it. ” Every teacher works very hard for this.

My favorite moment is when I am storytelling, and I can see in their eyes that I have taken them to another plane… it is priceless. I also love when I make them laugh, especially the most serious ones… children have such honest laughs.

What books are your favorites to read with/to your class?
There are so many…. books about Lars the polar bear by Hans de Beer, Diary of a Worm, Stellaluna, The Raft, Blueberries for Sal, books by Dr. Seuss, Tango Makes Three, The Empty Pot, My Father’s Dragon, Chronicles of Narnia, poetry, etc. etc…

Do your students teach you things? If so, what do you learn from them?
They help me reduce my accent  ;-) … they teach me so much… to keep it simple, not to ask more than three things from anyone at a time, to keep fantasy alive, to dream out loud.

Is there anything you’d like to add?
It feels funny to be talking about myself, but I think the gift I bring to Village is one of multiple perspectives. Not only do I come from a different culture but I also have been through alot and have had many life experiences which help me to be more humble, patient, and open to the diversity and idiosyncrasy of humanity.

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