Kärt, an Estonian au pair living with her host family in Fremont, California, recently visited an elementary school to share her culture with the students as part of a presentation for Global Awareness, a program developed by Au Pair in America to promote cross-cultural communication and understanding. She helped the children to celebrate an important milestone in her country’s history—Estonia’s 100th birthday! Read on for Kärt’s account of her fun and educational visit.
“Tere! (Hello in Estonian)
My name is Kärt, and I would love to share with you my experience about doing Global Awareness classes in an elementary school to celebrate 100th birthday of my homeland, Estonia.
On February 24, 2018, one hundred years passed from the proclamation of Estonia as an independent, democratic republic. So I decided my gift to Estonia would be introducing my home country’s culture and traditions to my American host kids and their classmates with a fun and surprising Estonian class.
One day before Estonia’s actual birthday, I carried out an Estonian lesson for 24 kindergarten and 20 2nd grade students. The first lesson was with the kindergarten students. They had a mini Estonian language class and also learned about national symbols. After that we danced an Estonian folk dance called Kaerajaan, and the final activity for the class was drawing birthday pictures for Estonia. While the children were drawing, I walked around the classroom and handed everyone stickers of the Estonian flag. I could see that the children were happy, and one girl even said to me that it was her best day at school. Her genuine feedback brought a big smile to my face.
Following a great first lesson with the kindergartners, it was time for the next one with 2nd graders. This time I started class by showing Estonia’s location on the world map, and we watched a short video called “Welcome to Estonia” from YouTube. After that the children asked questions about Estonia, and we also had a mini language class and talked about national symbols. Their class ended with filling in travel journals. I enjoyed teaching 2nd grade students too because they were really engaged in learning and asked interesting questions.
In conclusion, I feel lucky and thankful for this opportunity to teach about my homeland and celebrate Estonia’s 100th birthday.”
Au pairs have so much to teach and share with their host families and the community! Learn more about the educational benefits of hosting an au pair.