My name is Marcela (Marcy) Zaragoza and “I Dream To” … work as an international teacher like Kelly Syriotis. I was inspired to want to work as an international teacher because I want to live to help others. Also, I realized that there are students that don’t get the help or motivation from their teachers or families and I want to be that help and motivation. My mentor Kelly Syriotis told me she was always inspired to work as a teacher ever since she was little. She even taught her stuffed animals. She has encouraged me to dream big and fight for what I believe in.
Q1 : What inspired you to choose this job?
A1: I have family members that are teachers, and they always inspired me to choose a job that I love. I grew up wanting to be a teacher. I used to teach my stuffed animals. I’d line them all up and I would have my little chalk board and I’d teach them. I have always wanted to work with kids, wanted to help the world to be a little bit better.
Q2: What classes did you take in UCLA that helped you in your career?
A2: I took English and Sociology at UCLA. When I was young, I wanted to teach but then in high school and college I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do. But it ends up that most of the classes that I was taking in college did prepare me to be an English teacher. I took english literature classes and I took sociology and psychology classes at UCLA. In my job I have to really understand what a student is feeling and thinking. It’s not just a matter of teaching them information. You have to get to know them, care about them and understand what they are going through. The classes that I took helped prepare me for my future as a teacher.
Q3: What classes would you recommend that I take in college?
A3: I definitely think psychology and sociology classes could help you understand people. Those are classes that help you understand how people think, how people feel, how groups of people work together and how different things affect them. So I would definitely recommend those classes. In addition, you should take all of the education classes where you will learn valuable skills on how and what to teach students. I think the classes that probably were the most valuable were the ones that helped me understand how people work as members of society. Those insights help you understand your students and if you understand your students, you can figure out what lessons and activities will be the most interesting and meaningful to them.
Q4: What do you find rewarding in this job?
A4: I laugh a lot; I laugh every single day. I love my students. I think just the fact that I love my job every single day makes me a lucky person. I see a lot of my friends that are stressed out, struggling, and don’t want to go to work every day. So the reward for me is just being able to spend every day doing something that I love; and teenagers make me laugh! They are crazy and they are fun. Also, I have travelled the world while teaching. I’ve taught in Germany and Japan as well as California and just the travelling is amazing. It is really inspirational to learn about different cultures and different people and to see a little bit outside of yourself and outside of your own country. It allows you to open your heart and open your mind to new people and experiences.
Me, Marcy: Thank you!