“I AM SHY”
By Maria E. Moreno (Betty)
Everyone that knows me from my childhood would be so surprised to see that I have become an extrovert. Growing up, I was an extremely shy young girl to the point that my Mother would over protect me, but she also gave me many opportunities to find myself and know who I was. She helped me identify my abilities, gifts, passions, and the purpose for which I was born to do for others.
I distinctly remember when I was in elementary school not being an excellent student. I never went to Kindergarten. I went right into 1st grade and remember enjoying learning. I had to study and work very hard to get acceptable grades. My best years were second through fourth grades as I loved Mrs. Catalina, my most favorite teacher in Honduras. Mrs. Catalina knew I was very shy; so, she made sure she helped me by giving me special assignments that would help me mingle and interact with my classmates.
At the age of 12, my parents sent me to Belize to attend school. I was there for 8 months. There is where I decided I wanted to eventually come to the United States and further my studies. I went back to Honduras where I continued my schooling and had the wonderful opportunity to teach Sunday School at our Catholic Church close to my home.
In February of 1978, my dream became true. I came to the United States and attended Westwood Christian School in Miami where I completed High School.
In 11th grade, God gave me the teacher that would help me come out of my shell and not be so shy. One morning, Ms. Stamantinos asked me to introduce myself to the class. I thought my heart was going to pop out of my chest, but I did it! I stood up and introduced myself so proudly. I gave my name, told the class where I was from, and with my very thick accent, I told everyone I spoke Spanish. From that day forward, I thanked God for her helping me to know my classmates and enjoy sharing with people.
I AM a Teacher by heart and passion. I thank God I did not stay completely shy, but instead learned to enjoy talking to people as God’s purpose in my life required me to connect and help children learn.
I find that I am still somewhat shy since truly that’s who I AM. So, I know I was not called to be a public speaker but truly to connect with children and adults alike one by one.