We had the good fortune of connecting with Ana Garate and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ana, what do you attribute your success to?
Our success is directly connected to the way we listen to our students and their families. Parents feel they matter and see results in their kids.

How many people say they studied Spanish but cannot actually speak it or have a full conversation? Too many! We try to learn a language but don’t get to the point of actually being able to use it. Since we want to help children become bilingual, understanding how they learn best, how they can actually improve and show results is very important. We keep a fluid communication with the parents regarding their children and what they find important in their education. This has helped us always stay tuned to our clients’ needs, and adjust the programs.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

*Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?*

Families that are like-minded naturally come to us. It feels energizing to be part of a vibrant community that builds around the program. Children who start coming to one of our programs end up attending more classes, for example an after-school Spanish class at an LAUSD school, then attend our Summer camp. Kids from different schools meet each other, it’s beautiful to see them bonding over time.

During the pandemic our programs closed from one day to another, and that made us reinvent ourselves. We even started a Youtube channel, we wanted to be with our students especially after the sudden closure of schools. From one day to another I had to host our videos! It was embarrassing at first, and then just pure fun. We received emails thanking us, with videos of the little ones in front of the device trying to speak to “their teacher”.

This brings us back to your first question regarding “the key to our success”, and how we are able to stay close to the families who attend our program, and work together in their children’s education. We are so grateful and proud to be a part of their journey!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite spot of all: The Getty Museum, if only for the views and the architecture. When anyone visits, I let them explore the city and then stay local to spend quality time. I love the beach and nature. Biking on the beach path by Santa Monica is one of my favorites, especially when I was able to do it during the week. The weekends get too busy! To grab a bite, I always enjoy a good taco truck — they can be so delicious and really get you an authentic taste.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

Our International Director is a family Doctor and children psychologist with over 22 years of experience. She has been an everyday inspiration, and her knowledge of children’s development has determined and shaped how we teach children. It is impressive how much, if done right, a person can learn, make progress, and enjoy the process!

I would like to also give a special shoutout to Mandalit del Barco, NPR journalist. Her daughter has attended our program since 2016. She has always supported our project and just recently started a series of interviews for our blog, where she meets with families from the program. A cool project to reflect on raising bilingual kids.

Website: https://www.edsmyclassroom.com/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/EDSMYCLASSROOM

Image Credits
Students at our academy in Venice, and at local LAUSD schools we work with.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.