Smart Girl Stories
Stories of inspiration from Smart Girl Stories across the globe. Teaching With Love, The Inspiring “Miss Ana”

Teaching With Love, The Inspiring “Miss Ana”

When you think back to your school days, do you have a teacher you remember fondly? For many children and teenagers, it will be Ana, or “Miss Ana,” a Venezuelan girl who discovered her passion for teaching English with courage and confidence.

She is a friend of mine, with whom I had the pleasure of working at that time, about ten years ago, she was not a teacher as she is now. The crisis in Venezuela and how complicated it was to emerge made her decide to go to Colombia to start from scratch.

Can you imagine the courage it takes to decide to leave your country and start your life from scratch in another country? But Ana likes to dream, and she’s determined about what she wants.

She knew this was her chance to become an independent professional, and she trusted herself and her talent. She found refuge in teaching, where she realized she was very good at connecting with her students.

Surely you have had classes with many teachers, but you only remember a few, the ones who made you feel something, the ones who taught you how to learn, rather than teaching you something specific. And if we take a closer look at Ana’s classes, we can understand why she can be so inspiring.

Discovering a talent

Do you think talent is born or made? I am more and more convinced that it is a bit of both, that having talent requires soft skills such as discipline and love for what you do.

Ana had never been a teacher of anything or anyone she had a degree in economics, but the opportunities that presented themselves led her to teach more than 200 students in her first years in Colombia.

But it wasn’t always like this, in the beginning, while living in Venezuela, Ana studied English for 3 years because she knew that this language would be a great tool for her when she moved to Colombia. With discipline, she made sure she had the correct grammar and pronunciation.

“You discover your vocation through practice,” Ana told me when we talked. For a short time while still in Venezuela, she worked in a place surrounded by English teachers, so she learned a lot about the logistics of being a teacher.

This inspired her to go down this path, and she made up her mind that she would teach English once she immigrated to Colombia.

Ana’s Methodology: Teaching English With love

Language classes usually boil down to a teacher explaining prepositions on the blackboard while the rest of us write in notebooks, but Ana developed a style that has taken her far, and now she even trains other language teachers to make their classes as dynamic as hers.

“They’re atypical,” said Ana.

She emphasizes that the most important part of her methodology is to create a safe learning environment for her students, where she also manages to transmit the love she has for the language, for teaching, and her students once she gets to know them during the school year.

That’s why Ana combines different pedagogical strategies in her classes, from using songs and games to learning to role-playing and quizzes. Of course, there is always time for theory and the blackboard, but it is not the primary resource, and that is why she has had such good results.

She also shares a piece of wisdom, explaining why it is so important to have love and passion for your work:

“If you love what you do, the people you work with, your students, and you also bring a dose of passion and discipline to it, you are set up for success.”

Ana deepens this idea by saying: “If you have love, you will do well: you will look for the best resources, you will try to prepare yourself more to give your best version to your students. And if you have passion, you will enjoy it so much that you won’t feel like you are working”.

Why insist on teaching in a way that your students tell you they’re not learning? In this case, Ana talks openly with her students so that they can tell her how they feel they learn better and more comfortably, and according to that, they create their teaching methods.

How are Ana’s classes different? They are very communicative and practical, she always tries to get her students to talk as much as they can and lose the fear of making mistakes.

For example, if a child doesn’t understand her, she doesn’t say it’s her fault, but as a language teacher, she asks herself how she can change her dynamic to make her students understand and how she can give them that confidence.

Teaching with love

The Challenge

It is very difficult to be good at something on the first try, right? Ana was no exception, not only had she moved to a completely new country, but she had also started working as an English teacher, something she had never done before as she had a degree in Economics.

Her main challenge was classroom management, which is not just about getting all the students to ‘do well’ and ‘behave’, but goes beyond that.

It was about how to regulate her emotions and how to help her students regulate theirs throughout the learning process, how to give everyone a sense of security and calm, and how to create classroom routines so that they felt safe because they already knew what the class was going to be like and what to expect.

Ana tells us that it took her about 3 years to feel confident with classroom management and that she had to go through different age groups, experimenting with each age group to see what worked and what did not.

“The first period was very complex, neither my students nor I knew how to regulate ourselves very well. But I kept studying and trying what worked best with the group until I found one that worked for us,” Ana said, referring to one of her younger groups.

How do you manage to stand in front of a group of students and find a dynamic that allows you to teach them and allow them to learn while having a good time? It is complicated, and even more so when there is not much affinity between the two parties.

But Ana has never been known to stand idly by, and she knows that a feeling of fear, discomfort, and doubt is an opportunity to learn what aspects of herself and her work she needs to improve. She has embraced this challenge and is now able to lead groups of all ages with complete confidence.

How do you improve when you are already good at something?

Even though we can say that Ana is an amazing English teacher, that doesn’t mean she should stop learning how to be a teacher, she should keep learning. Expertise is not a goal, especially when it comes to teaching.

Ana advises us to do the following:

  • Learn and see how others do it.
  • Research how people you think are experts do it.
  • Ask yourself or how you can improve, constantly.
  • Improve processes, sometimes working harder does not work better.

From we are very inspired by the story of Ana, who left her country to do something different from her university career, not only has she taught hundreds of children and teenagers a language, but she is becoming more and more confident in her ability to overcome challenges with love and passion.

Read more powerful stories by bold journalists on our Inspiration page and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!

Valeria Morillo

Valeria Morillo

I live for content and storytelling, working hard to get you to meet awesome women across the world! Marketing strategist, voice over andjournalist.


Smart Girl Stories shares stories of inspiration from writers across the globe.

We ask each writer to adhere to our Smart Girl Stories pledge. The views expressed in our articles are those of the author and are meant to spark conversation and inspire you. They don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of SmartGirl Stories. We are honored to share their stories, as well as yours. To learn more – visit us here.

Follow Me

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.