Hailing from the US, Andreia Pequeno had been teaching more than five years when she began looking for opportunities at international schools abroad. Now a lead English teacher at House of Knowledge International School and Kindergarten (HoK), Pequeno has been in Beijing for over one year. She says her time in Beijing has been amazing so far and looks forward to learning more Chinese and finding out everything Beijing has to offer. Pequeno shares more about herself with beijingkids readers.
What’s was your favorite subject when you were a student?
Creative Arts was always my favorite subject in school because there’s no right or wrong way when creating art. You are free to create anything without boundaries.
What did you want to be when you were a kid? What other career options did you explore before teaching?
I always thought I would be working in the medical field as so many of my family members are doctors or nurses. Early on, I always told people that I wanted to be a kids doctor and when I learned how to write and say “pediatrician” I was extremely intrigued. However, once I realized I would have to deal with vaccinations, broken limbs, and other painful things I knew it wasn’t the right field for me.
How would you describe your teaching style?
I have a very relaxed approach to teaching. I love giving the kids knowledge through play, and having them realize, “Oh, I just learned something and had so much fun.”
What was your favorite book growing up? What are you currently reading? Until this day, one of my favorite books is Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. As a child my mother used to read this book to me and my brothers before bed. Through the years she asked each of my teachers to write a short note in the book for me, and when I graduated from high school I had this great book filled with memories.“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
How do you like to relax on the weekends?
On the weekends I like to de-stress by spending as much time possible relaxing in bed. A nice meal and drinks with friends, a bit of retail of therapy, and getting my nails done aren’t bad distractions either.
Where do you like to go on holiday? On holidays I like to be somewhere with lots of sun, warmth, and relaxation. Somewhere tropical is always fun with a great group of friends.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
Most people assume that I am simply American, but I actually come from a mixed background. My parents are from a small island off the West Coast of Africa (Sao Tome) and I was born in Portugal before I moved to the US at 6 months old. I am very much in tune with my African/Portuguese roots and try to visit every year. I am also fluent in Spanish and understand a bit of French.
What’s currently on your playlist?
My playlist is dependent on my mood. If I’m in a party mood or want to get the day started off right, I love some kizomba, salsa or dance music. If I’m in a chill mood then maybe some Coldplay, Lana del Ray, Sam Smith, etc. My playlist is all over the place.
What’s do you find most rewarding about teaching?
I love being a teacher and being able to be a big kid. It doesn’t matter that I can’t sing well, that my drawings are sometimes unrecognizable, or that I dress up silly because the kids love me regardless. However, the most rewarding thing about teaching is watching how much the children grow each year and the attachments and bonds they make with one another.
Meet the Teacher is a beijingkids blog series designed to help the Beijing community learn more about international school teachers. If your school would like to participate in the series, please email the school editor at email@example.com
Photo: Courtesy of HoK