Mariana Abeid-McDougall discovered teaching has been the common thread throughout her working life. MPM caught up with Mariana after being in survival mode. Her husband contracted flesh-eating disease and the same strep bacteria affected the rest of the household. Four weeks of trying to maintain a semblance of normalcy. “Changing bandages, homeschooling my kids and delivering work on time to my clients. But, we are on the mend”, she assured.
“What did you want to be when you grew up?” MPM
“Since I was 8, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. Over the years, I’ve had many jobs, but the teaching role is somehow always involved”, Mariana explained. As a Naval Reservist working as a military clerk she trained recruits in office procedures. And, utilized her fitness background encouraging recruits to create a circuit for their physical training.
Mariana also taught English, and was a physical and health education teacher. “Although I don’t intend to work in formal education again, I will always be a teacher in any job I take on”. Mariana recognizes people’s potential. Learning new things is what gives her energy.
“What jobs did you do in the past?” MPM
“I’ve sold pizza in a mall food court, spent 7 years in retail selling men’s clothing” and engraved accessories. “I’ve been a lifeguard, adult swimming instructor and shift coordinator, worked at a university fundraising call centre, sold light fixtures, worked as an administrative assistant for a university and an engineering office, and a personal trainer”, Mariana breathed out.
Mariana found her way into the military as a Naval Reservist after immigrating from Brazil. She thought it would be a good way to serve the country that welcomed her with open arms. But Mariana never went on tour. She spent all her time in Canada. “I joke…I sailed a desk for 7 years”, she laughed. Reserve clerks don’t often go on board ship and are referred to as “purple trades”. “We can work for any element—navy, army or air force. Being an adaptable MultiPod helped me fit in well wherever I went”, Mariana said. Apart from her administrative duties working for the regular force army, she took instructor courses that enhanced her background in physical and health education and teaching. “It was great! Even though my trade was not one that normally got to do these things. “I also had my own personal training company”. she grinned.
Today, Mariana is a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. And, more recently, a freelance writer, blogger, and content marketer. I’m probably forgetting something”, Mariana stopped to ponder any fields she hadn’t covered. She admits it seems impossible for someone her age to have worked that many years. Several of which were working 2 or 3 jobs at once. “That was borne more out of necessity than interest in various fields, though my interest in various fields kept my insanely busy life a little more sane”, Mariana chuckled.
“How did you become a member of The Putty Tribe?” MPM
A long time ago, an editor told Mariana she thought she might be a Scanner, Barbara Sher’s term for a MultiPod/MultiPotentialite. Mariana watched one of Sher’s videos and identified immediately with everything she said. And, particularly fascinated by all the different courses she could take. After reading, Sher’s book, Mariana became inspired to seek more information online which led her to Emilie Wapnick’s TED Talk, ‘Why some of us don’t have one true calling’. “I learned from a fellow freelance writer about The Putty Tribe, and debated joning it for over a year before I finally made the leap. I’m glad I did”, Mariana said.
“Was there a topic, story or phrase Emilie said that resonated with you?” MPM
“Some of us don’t have one true calling”, Mariana smiled.
“What projects are you working on?” MPM
Mariana is currently re-vamping two of her websites, marianamcdougall and multitalentedwriters in hopes of turning them into a full-time job within a year. “I’m working on several freebies,…digital product offerings for both sites, creating Pinterest graphics for all current posts, and coming up with enough material to cover a minimum one year of posts. I have been upping my Pinterest game, and having so much fun with it. I’m thinking about offering Pinterest services to clients, she said. And while she works on all these projects, she is a freelance writer, editor, and content marketer at dreams into goals writing.
“What does it mean to be a multi talented person?” MPM
“Being a multitalented person means being a lifelong learner. Someone who is always interested in growing their knowledge base in various fields and…is fascinated by many different topics”, Mariana said. It leads to a life of new and exciting discoveries she wants to share with other multi-talented people and specialists.
“Is there a piece of music that keeps you motivated and feeling hopeful about your life and passions?” MPM
“I sometimes care a little too much about the people who try to tear me down. When I’m feeling that way and start to think about throwing in the towel on my various projects”, Mariana confides. But the song Indestructible by Disturbed reminds her that she has “determination that is incorruptible”. That one line in the song fires Mariana up making her determination incorruptible to achieve her goals “no matter what others may think about them.”
“How Do you stay organized with everything on your plate?” MPM
Mariana said there was a tonne of apps out there in cyber land to keep you organized. But her favourite tool is her day book—a simple notebook with blank pages where she organizes her life daily and week by week. Homeschooling Mom Stays Organized
“How are you teaching your children to be “out of the box” in a “niche” world”? MPM
“Embrace Your Inner Weirdness”, Mariana says!
Homeschooling spells Freedom To Mariana!
Homeschooling has proven to be a great tool in cultivating freedom, time, and movement fitting her family’s lifestyle. Mariana says they do school whenever they want and travel whenever they want. She adheres to the provincial education standards. But, it’s more important for her to teach them how to think than learn “rigidly prescribed curricula”. “It’s amazing to have this kind of freedom. Teaching my kids what it’s like to live in the world by actually living in it”, she added passionately.
Mariana’s children fall across the learning spectrum from an “autism and developmental coordination disorder diagnosis to a gifted child.” She finds it amazing to cater to their specific learning needs. Taking turns teaching them one on one while the others work independently. “We try to give our kids choices and guide them in making their own decisions”, she said.
Mariana “gamifies” her lessons!
Mariana “gamifies” her lessons because her family loves board and table top games. “It brings us together and helps us learn and grow”, Mariana said. She makes her children’s lessons fun and flexible to create a life long passion for knowledge. Mariana’s children are given choices to help guide them in making their own decisions. And when her kids voluntarily list the 3 or 4 things they want to be when they grow up she tells them, “You can be all of those things. Mama’s done lots of different jobs, too.”
Thank you Mariana Abeid-McDougall for sharing your passion for teaching. Using your multi-talents to help people “find their own answers” so they can learn and grow.