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Maple Bear teachers in Brazil will have the opportunity to share experiences when they meet in São Paulo later this month for their first national convention.
Meet one teacher–Nímia Marini—who brings a unique global sensibility to her job:
Nímia Marini had an extraordinary volunteer experience abroad before she began working as a teaching assistant at Maple Bear Pouso Alegre in Brazil in January of 2015.
Working with the Brazilian non-governmental organization World Mobilization, she found herself in Nepal and later in Tibet, helping to fight child trafficking and working in shelters with children who had received nothing in the way of formal education.
Today, with volunteering behind her, she is now Head Teacher for the toddler group at the school. But she believes her profound experience impacts greatly on her work as a Maple Bear teacher. “All the experiences I had serve me as a compass, helping me not only to understand and embrace what is different, but above all, to respect it,” says Nímia.
“As a teacher, having the privilege to participate in the daily discoveries of such young children, I believe that my most important job is to make them feel respected and accepted for who they are.”
Nímia came to work at Maple Bear almost by accident, spotting an outdoor advertisement for enrollments and then contacting them immediately about sending in her resume. After learning more, she says she fell in love with the program, especially as it offered a new way—for Brazil—of educating children.
“Maple Bear Pouso Alegre is new, but it’s growing so fast,” she says. “We have a great environment, with people supporting one another, children with big smiles on their faces and a Principal/Owner who is a really dedicated professional and truly loves what she does.”
As for volunteering in the future?
“I do hope and intend to go back to Asia in the near future and continue to volunteer in any way that I can,” she says. “But for now Maple Bear Pouso Alegre is my home.”