I was born in Porto, Portugal, exactly 40 years ago. I have two older sisters. My whole childhood was spent in Porto, which is the second largest city in the country, and a very fine place to live. I still travel there every year, normally twice a year, to visit my parents, my sister and nephews and my friends.
You know me as the Norwegian Assistant – and at times I substitute other teachers when they are sick.
Tell us about your background
When I was a child, I went to a small private Primary School, but from Year 5 onwards, I was always in public schools. I was a good student, had positive report cards and very few worries. When I finished Secondary School, I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to study at university level, but I got into Law School. After one year, I realised that wasn’t for me, so I switched and started taking Modern Languages and Literature courses at the University of Porto. I studied there for 5 years, minus one, which was spent in Bergen, and a few months when I was in France. When I finished my Translation studies – and even during my university days – I had part time jobs and did things in areas that interest me, like tourism and cultural events. Then life changed when I got married and moved to Stavanger, in 2005. I started learning Norwegian and also I began my Master’s Programme in Literacy Studies.
What inspired you to be a teacher?
I didn’t want to be a teacher – I studied to be a translator. I only realised teaching could be fun when I was living in Angola as a petroleum wife and people started to approach me and ask if I could informally teach them Portuguese – the official language of the country. So I made time for a few students, who then spread the word, and suddenly there were more requests for me to teach English. So it all snowballed from there… I guess to answer the question, what ultimately drove me to teach was realising I could share the knowledge I have to help out others who need to overcome a problem. A continual source of inspiration are my own parents, who are both teachers (now retired). When I was growing up and I had a question, I could always come to them and they would give me an answer. That was very reassuring, and I hope I can do the same to my students.
What is the best part about your job?
There are many parts of the job I enjoy. I like to see what types of questions kids have, what they bring of their own life experiences to the classroom – because that enriches my life as well. I like to observe them acquire their skills and put them in practice. I also like to be in the same boat as other teachers, be part of a team that is working towards the same goal.
What do you hope to achieve by being a teacher?
Mostly I hope I can instill the desire to learn more, and always learn throughout life. The world is full of interesting things – the teachers’ mission is to show that learning is a powerful force that change the world for the better.