By Erkan Nasirli
Science & Technology Editor
Meet Ms. Maya Fernandez, a teacher that has been loyal to DAA for 13 long years, first she was a Math teacher, then she took a break from math and when she came back she started teaching Special Education for 3 years!
The Pawprint interviewed her to know more about her and her amazing story.
How has your experience been at DAA?
I’ve been at DAA for 13 years, and as usual, my experience is always great. This is a very dynamic place that is constantly on the move, constantly busy, the teachers are always busy, as well as the students and that’s what makes DAA so exciting!
Have you taught any other subjects than Math?
Yes, I’ve actually taught math for many years but I took a break and for three years I was a Special Education teacher, and now I’m back to teaching math.
Why did you go back to math?
Well, I took a year off teaching math and when I wanted to come back, the superintendent told me that he wanted me to replace the lady that was leaving from Special Education, she was a wonderful lady, and she retired so they wanted me to fulfill that position, and of course I agreed because I thought it would be a growing and learning experience for me, but I’m actually going back to my regular job, teaching math, the Special Ed was more of a parenthesis in my professional life. Truly, I am a math teacher.
What are your favorite teaching moments as a teacher?
Definitely, when the students are interactive, when we are all interacting and learning together and we’re all coming together to those, Aha! Moments. When students get to those “Aha!” moments while learning math, that makes me so excited!
Could you share some of your hobbies with us?
I love dancing! When I was younger my hobbies were horseback riding and skiing but I don’t really get to that in Dubai so I try to go dancing as much as I can.
Is there any specific kind of dancing you enjoy?
I like the Latino and flamenco Spanish dancing.
Have you taught anywhere before DAA?
No, I wasn’t a teacher before DAA, I worked at universities in the administration, but then I switched to academics early on, I was in the administration of universities until I came to Dubai and needed a job, so I started teaching.
Can you tell us at what age you knew teaching was your passion? What school did you attend?
I knew that I would love teaching! Because when I was young I used to play with my dolls and I put them in little chairs so I would teach them on a chalkboard whatever I would have learned that day in school. So I guess deep down I always knew I wanted to teach, but I was not always the perfect student, especially in middle school! As for my education I went to a French school for middle school and then I went to a Spanish high school, so I know French and Spanish. Finally, I went to the US and graduated from Cornell University.
Ms. Fernandez has an incredible story, an interesting life, and a fascinating teaching career.
She’s an ideal example of a great person and an even better teacher.