Woman With Down Syndrome Achieves Childhood Dream of Teaching Preschool: 'I Adore This'

'Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to be a teacher,' says Noelia Garella.

She is the first person with Down syndrome to become a teacher in Argentina, and she’s one of only a few in the world.

Noelia Garella, 31, has wanted to lead a preschool class since she was a little girl. “I have always wanted to be a teacher, because I like children so much,” the woman told Agence France-Presse.

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“I adore this,” she said.

But schools in her native country have not always adored her.

As a child, she was rejected from a nursery school and branded a "monster."

That served to only make her more adamant. When an official deemed she should not take teaching classes, her parents and other instructors, helped by the mayor, lobbied on her behalf.

She was ultimately allowed to take classes on teaching reading to toddlers.

Her students, 2- and 3-year-olds, seem to love her and crowd around her as she plays with them and reads to them.

“With time, even those who had been opposed joined in the initiative to hire Noe as a teacher,” Alejandra Senestrari, the former director of the school that hired Garella, told AFP.

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“We very quickly realized that she had a strong vocation,” Senestrari said. “She gave what the children in the nursery classes most appreciate, which is love.”

She has been teaching at the school since 2012.

“I want them to read and listen, because in society people have to listen to one another,” she said.

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