Room 8 kindergarten teacher Nesrin Eltawil’s first book, published in November, focuses on what seems an unlikely topic for a kindergarten teacher to be writing about: divorce. Unlikely, that is, until you know Nesrin’s story.
Nesrin was born in Damascus, Syria, and moved to San Francisco with her family when she was 16. It was always her dream to work with children and families.
After teaching for many years, she realized that she wanted to work with parents, as they’re the core of a family. She pursued her higher education and a fellowship in trauma through the University of Queensland in Australia. She subsequently became a trauma trainer for adolescents and adults, a marriage therapist, an anger-management specialist, and a social consultant – gaining knowledge and experience that she now uses every day in her work with kindergartners.
“After years of working mainly with children and adults experiencing divorce, I gained an understanding from a different perspective of the reasons for and issues behind a divorce.” Her experiences led to write her book, Adam and Eve: Two Different Lovers, as she wanted to share what she’d learned to help couples
enmeshed in similar situations.
“As a trauma trainer, I counseled a lot of people going through divorce. Almost unanimously, when I asked couples why they were getting a divorce, they responded with ‘I’m not quite sure.’ I came to realize that the root of their problems was that they didn’t understand each other and were unable to effectively communicate their needs and wants. Years of miscommunication had snuck up on them and resulted in the end of their relationship.”
Adam and Eve: Two Different Lovers consists of 16 chapters, each split into two parts – one for Adam and one for Eve. “I used Adam and Eve as symbolic figures for every man and woman in the world.” Each chapter, she explains, “has a common theme I have seen in divorces, such as cultural differences, selfishness, harmful habits, and so on. In each chapter, I discuss the perspectives of each party in the divorce in order to understand their emotional and mental thought processes. The idea is that we can each read the two different perspectives and come to understand their points of view.”
Nesrin has been teaching at Meher school since 2014. “My daughter, Nadine, was a student here. I was amazed by the genuine love and care shown to the students and in the school community. At that time I decided to be part of that wonderful work environment.”
Her background as a therapist serves her well in the classroom. “Learning to handle feelings, especially powerful ones such as anger, can be difficult, especially for young children. So teaching them to understand how they feel and improve their emotional regulation can help them respond to the emotions and environment around them with more control and skill – skills such as problem solving, relaxation, coping strategies, and cognitive restructuring (alternate ways of thinking).”
Nesrin works part time at the COPE Family Support Center in Walnut Creek, where she works with people going through a divorce, who have anger problems, or who are having difficulties with their children.
To purchase a copy of Nesrin’s book, call or text her at (310) 877-6328.