Friday Feature: Tessa Judge in Brasilito, Costa Rica

Tessa Judge

September 22, 2018

 

Moving to Costa Rica for the Costa Rica TEFL program in November 2017, I knew I wanted to work and live by the beach. I was told I’d have the best luck finding a job in the Central Valley, but I held firm to my goal of living by the beach. Though this required some time and a lot of patience, I can proudly say my stubbornness paid off.

Sunlit road in Brasilito

I now live in a small beach town in Guanacaste called Brasilito, about an hour’s drive from the Liberia airport. Brasilito is about as Tico as it comes. The houses are close together, the neighbors are friendly, the street cats are thin and unbothered. On a Saturday morning such as this, bachata music drifts through the air, roosters crow, and chickens wander into my small front yard. With the beach a five-minute walk from my house and the tide coming in, I can hear waves crash during moments of quiet. A cup of freshly brewed coffee in hand, these are the mornings I envisioned when dreaming of moving to Costa Rica.

During the week, I work at a nearby bilingual school called Educarte, where I teach 4th and 5th grade English and math. My students are from everywhere: Costa Rica, the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, France, the Netherlands. Their language abilities differ, with some students switching seamlessly between three languages and others just beginning to learn their second.

This dynamic makes for an extremely unique classroom experience for the teacher and the students. Creating lesson plans to accommodate both fluent and beginner speakers is a challenge in concept and in practice, but also very satisfying when successful. Educarte encourages creativity in the classroom, so I’ve been able to implement variations of many of the games I learned during my Costa Rica TEFL course. Board races, matching games, and target games are just a few of the activities my kids love. Adding these into their classroom experience not only keeps things fun and interesting, but my students learn so much without even realizing it!

Deciding to move to Costa Rica was a huge leap of faith. Costa Rica TEFL became the net that caught me, providing me with great friends, good memories, and an arsenal of skills to send me into a teaching career. And as an added bonus, it gave me Sámara, the perfect little beach town that I consider my Costa Rican home and go back to whenever I get the chance. Still on the fence about making the leap yourself? Trust me when I say submit that Costa Rica TEFL application and book that plane ticket. The rest will fall into place.

Rio Celeste – Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio

 

Natural rock pools in Sámara