Buenos días! Today, I documented a day in my life as an international student-teacher. I hope sharing my experience can serve as a reference to benefit future international teachers!
5:30- Some mornings feel like the scene in Cinderella, where birds sing as she gets dressed. Speaking of clothes, I strongly recommend asking your host school about their dress code prior to departing so you can pack your teacher outfits accordingly.
7:00- Our school is located at the top of a hill—making for a scenic bus ride. At my host school, the teachers do not have their own classrooms; instead, they rotate rooms while the students stay in their homeroom. This means my classroom is mostly on wheels. Some of the contents of my teacher bag include worksheets, pens, stickers, science supplies, my lunch, a laptop, and a wand!
Purchased on a sale at Michael’s Crafts.
8:00- Class is in session! I start with my third graders for our Writing class. My next few classes are teaching science with my first-grade classrooms. Science and the natural world is such an integral part of Costa Rican culture, so I want my lessons to build on the students’ love of nature and exploration.
Preparing students for an experiment about heat.
Noon- Lunchtime! Our students eat in their classroom. Spending lunchtime with students helps foster positive relationships in the classroom, so I recommend more student teachers try this. Afterward, we brush our teeth, clean the classroom, and head to recess!
1:00- During my prep, I got a visit from Perro Lobo. Transitioning to the model of 4 mentor teachers and 90 students was challenging because each teacher had their own expectations of me, so my mentors and I arranged to meet weekly to go over lessons. Shout out to all of the patient and supportive mentor teachers!
3:00- The last class of the day is my English/Communications group. We are preparing for a Skype session that I organized with my Las Vegas students! Hurray for global citizenship!
5:00- This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but teachers aren’t finished working by the time we clock out. That part of the job seems universal. I WhatsApp material for printing and pick-up to the librería Eureka as they have the best prices in San Ramón. I try to get as much work done at school before catching the hourly bus home.
7:00- Finally, home! During the evening, I take my shower, prepare tomorrow’s outfit, lunch, and school materials.
8:00- During dinner time, we watch the news and check-in with one another. Now is a time for resilience and compassion, so everyone is trying to do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Our school is meeting tomorrow to talk about the next few weeks going forward.
9:00- I owe it to my students to feel energetic and well-rested, so I head to bed early. My family in Las Vegas operates on Pacific standard time. Every weekend I call my family, and I call my partner nightly. He and I have a routine where he reads to me until I fall asleep.
While no day is identical, I cherish having this schedule I can depend on!