Two months into her Au Pair in America year, Jessika has already done so much to help her host kids develop and learn new skills. She tells us about an amazing project the au pairs in her cluster have been getting involved in and the other exciting things she’s experienced this month!
Two months have passed since I arrived in the USA and I’m back to update you on everything I’ve been experiencing. Before I start explaining the title of this blog I want to tell you about the tours that I’ve done this month. At the beginning of this month, some friends and I went to kayaking for free on the Hudson River. Yes, I said FOR FREE! What can I say about this tour other than it was a wonderful experience and a unique way to see New York City. Also, as we are in the month of Halloween, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit a pumpkin patch could I? It was so much fun, I explored the corn maze and I was able to pick up my own pumpkin. The month of October is so incredible that wherever I go I feel the mood of Halloween. The houses and shops decorated, everything is being prepared for this commemorative date and it is incredible being able to be part of it all.
So, back to the title of my post, what does it mean to be an Extraordinaire? Au Pair in America offer 3 program options so you can find the best one to suit your experience. Au Pair Extraordinaire was the category of the program which best fitted my experience. In my country, I worked as a teacher and I had a lot of experience with children in the school environment. You must be thinking and what’s the difference? What does an Extraordinaire au pair do different from the others? As an Extraordinaire au pair, I do everything that the other categories of au pair do however I use my skills as an educator to provide something more for my host kids. We work in motor coordination, writing, reading, arts and crafts and much more.
This month we made two books about animals for the “Animal Project” which came from an idea by another Extraordinaire au pair, Laura. The idea came after a conversation between her and our Community Counsellor, Jill. Laura thought of the project as a way to enrich and unite the au pairs and host kids in our cluster. Each au pair along with their host kids should choose an animal to learn about and we would create a page about that animal to go into a book. My host kids chose the jaguar and the lion, after we had chosen our animals, we researched them and learned specific things about the animal following some questions that Laura sent us. The coolest thing is to be able to teach the name of the animal in our mother tongue, either in Portuguese in my case or German, French etc. I went to the library with my kids, we got several books about jaguars and lions and we watched videos about the animals too. At the end of the project Laura thought of holding a meeting between all the au pairs and their host kids in order for each au pair and their host children to present their animals to everyone, talk about what they’ve learned about the animals and then we will all go on an exciting trip to the zoo!
“My aim in the USA is to make the best of the host children’s life. I am really trying to be an enrichment for my host child and the host family. That’s one of the reasons why I want to do this project. I want my host child to get in touch with other host children and to learn something new. I think I can do that with this project. We will learn new things about animals, get to know other cultures and people.” – Laura
You have an extraordinary opportunity as an au pair to be a role model to your host children, to help them develop and learn new things. We will continue on the path to do our best for our host kids and I am sure we will learn as much from them as they will learn from us.
One more chapter done but my story continues… See you next month!