SUCCESS! Spain’s Youngest Teacher is Sweet 18 and Learned English with Helen Doron!
Anna (who goes by the nickname Mixa) hails from Catalonia, Spain and lives in the architectural wonderland of Barcelona with her parents. From a very young age she was exposed to various languages, as Anna explains, “The language we speak at home is Catalan, my mother tongue. Nevertheless, my father’s family speaks only Spanish, so I specially learned it with them. At first I only answered them back in Catalan, until one day at the age of 3 I suddenly started to speak to them in Spanish, leaving my grandparents open-mouthed!”
Her language experience continued both formally and informally. “Before starting school, I also took private French classes, but after my teacher left I didn’t continue learning it. Furthermore, my father knows a bit of English, so from an early age I also used to practice with him and had a great time watching cartoons like Disney Magic English. What wasn’t funny for my mother was hearing me at 6 AM in my cradle shouting in English ‘Wake up, mama! Wake up!”’ Now what mother wouldn’t love that!
Anna is currently the youngest Helen Doron teacher in the international network, which includes over 4,000 teachers in 36 countries. She let us know that she feels it is a big honour and she is very excited to have this unique position amongst so many. How did she decide to train at such a young age after so many years as a Helen Doron student? “Last year Meena Athwani (the Master Franchisor for Catalonia and director of the Sagrada Familia centre in Barcelona) talked to me about the possibility of being trained as a teacher. I thought it promised to be an exciting challenge and a way of discovering lots of new experiences… and it was! When last October she invited me to participate in a Teacher Training Course, I just grabbed the opportunity. Wow! It was one of the hardest and most enriching things I’ve ever done!”
Mixa continued enthusiastically about her future. “Although being a professional teacher is not one of my ambitions at the moment, I feel so proud to have passed the Teacher Trainer Course that I’d be pleased to help discover more about this unusual situation. Would a Helen Doron student be a different kind of teacher? I’m really looking forward to finding it out!”
The young teacher reflected on her years as a Helen Doron student. “I started studying with Helen Doron after starting primary school. I met Kangi and her friends for the first time in “English for all children” (those were the days!) then I moved on to “More English for all children”, “Paul Ward’s World”, “Paul and the Treasure” and finally, “Teen Choices”.
She highly recommends Helen Doron classes to parents considering giving their children the internationally essential gift of English. “Don’t think twice! Everywhere I go I recommend this method, because it hasn’t stopped enriching my life right from the beginning!
What classes will she be teaching? “The training has qualified me to teach children from 3 to 8 years old (from “Fun with Flupe” to “More Jump with Joey”) but I don’t rule out the option of learning how to teach more advanced courses. I would love to transmit to children and teenagers my passion for reading!”
In fact, you can learn about books from Mixa no matter where you are in the world, every Wednesday at 17 10 CET on Helen Doron Radio when she does her informative book review segment, which she loves and is an important part of her life. “The Helen Doron Radio is fabulous! It’s so funny and enriching that you don’t realize you’re learning English while listening to it! Moreover, whatever your hobbies or interests are, there’s always a show ready to entertain you and listeners can participate in a thousand ways: voting for their favourite songs, sending requests, winning amazing t-shirts and Bluetooth speakers, and participating in photo contests, among others. The best thing of all, though, is that you can tell the Helen Doron Radio crew love what they do and I feel so glad to collaborate with them!”
Besides having a really cool radio station, how does Mixa find Helen Doron different from other English courses? “Well to start with, children in Helen Doron classes are provided with personalized education, which makes a huge difference (that means lesson groups are between 4-8 students). Toddlers are introduced to English in a more passive and sensorial way, to help them familiarize themselves with the new language, whereas older children are taught in a far more active and kinaesthetic way. Nevertheless both have the same amounts of fun, as learning becomes an adventure and a pleasure, thanks to games, movement and music! Moreover, the combination of repeated hearing of English along with positive reinforcement from motivated teachers during the lessons becomes the perfect formula for children to quickly experience success.”
She is equally enthusiastic in praising her new career. “I would tell anyone considering it that being a Helen Doron English teacher is an honour, and a big challenge filled with personal rewards. It can open you doors all around the world and allows you to continuously improve the world of education.”
Mixa elaborated on her creative and ambitious plans. “I’m a multifaceted and very versatile person who is currently working in lots of projects related to the world of culture. My future career plans are basically being able to work on my passions: music and literature.
I play various instruments, take singing classes and one of my dreams is to become a singer-songwriter like Ella and Benaya Doron or even a soundtrack composer. Moreover, I knew I wanted to be a writer for a long time and am making a name as a Blogger and BookTuber (collaborating with publishing houses and writing book reviews, among other things). I’m also a bit like a cultural journalist: I like to write chronicles about fairs, conferences, book presentations, collaborate in radio programmes, moderate virtual forums related to books, interview writers, publish an online cultural magazine… a long and growing list of undertakings!”
The motivated young woman would like to thank everyone in the Helen Doron world who have encouraged her to become the star she is today. “After all these years, all the teachers and members of the centres I learned with have become part of my family. I feel a lot of gratitude towards them and also towards Helen Doron herself. As I told her once when she visited us personally in Barcelona: thank you for creating your method. Without it I wouldn’t be the same person I am today!”