Meet Isabella, Teach For Austria 2012

Teacher Spotlight

Meet Isabella, Teach For Austria 2012

Teach For Austria
Teach For Austria
Isaballa Thurin was a first year Teach For Austria Fellow during the 2012-2013 school year. In February 2013 she was selected as a delegate to the Teach For All Global Transformational Teaching Summit in Delhi, India. This is her reflection:
 
On the first day of the summit, we were all warmly welcomed with a joyful opening ceremony, after which we were surprised with the first unknown event on the agenda: To share Teach for India’s value of “seva” (loosely translated as a mindful and joyful act of serving someone) in a challenging neighborhood. My group was to visit an orphanage for street children. I wasn’t sure what to think and what to feel about this activity. Writing down my thoughts before the visit, I was worried about so many things: How can I bring joy to someone who I don’t know, who I am not even able to speak to?
 
I felt like a rhino in a glass menagerie when we were sent out for our “mission.” I explored this fragile yet strong place, and after a while climbed up to the roof of the house. I wasn’t alone—some delegates and kids were already there. But minutes later, it was only Catalina, a fellow from Teach for Chile, two younger boysbrothersand me. The four of us connected right away. It felt so natural; it felt like we four had known each other for years. We explored the roof, then shared our names and painted them on our hands. When we left the roof, the brothers proudly showed us their sleeping place and their livesin drawings. We got so involved in that intimate atmosphere that we forgot about time and Catalina and I almost missed the bus heading back to our hotel.
 
It was a magical encounter. We all had so much fun exploring each other`s worlds. These two children were so open and curious and to be there with us, it seemed like a perfect symbiosis that didn’t need words for understanding. Often confronted with challenging team-teaching situations in my school, I was so thankful for this experience, because it made me realize what a team teaching situation can look like if the same values, the same joy to teach and to learnto prosper together with childrenare shared.
 
And maybenot knowing it at that timeI realized I had finally captured a sense of what seva could mean.