A “planner” in a day-to-day kind of place

Truly learning to live moment to moment.

~ By Jessica

Today is the 29th day here on Isla De Mujeres, almost a full month since I have left all I know back home to now living on an island completely outside of any comfort zone I have ever known. Up until a couple of days ago I didn’t quite feel like this was my new home, but it has set in and I finally feel at home here. When I arrived I had no idea just how much I would learn to love the culture here. Yes, I said learn…that is because life here is so much slower and a lot more gentle than life back in the states. I have had to adjust to many things, but even a month in I can say it has served me well to being open to this new way of life.

Learning to live with 3 other girls has been an adjustment, as this was something I was not used to, but they are all great and it has been comforting knowing we aren’t in this alone. Kristen and Patrice (and now Daniel) are all great bosses to have and they have done all they can to make sure we are comfortable, as well as prepared for the job we are here to do. I have already made some local friends and to say the people here are nice is an understatement. The community here is so welcoming, I truly think the phrase “mi casa es tu casa” rings loud here.

When I first arrived I felt like this island was pretty large, well not so much anymore. As teachers here we are already recognized everywhere and we have only been in the classroom for a week now (going on week 2 today). We see familiar faces everywhere; that to me is comforting. People here have your back, they are always willing to help despite any language or social barrier there may be.

Lastly, I want to just say that the idea of teaching a group of children who most likely won’t know much of what I am saying TERRIFIED me. I am totally comfortable in front of a class bearing that teaching role, but ESL is a whole new world. Last week was a whirlwind, and this is where my catchy title comes into play: you can never plan a perfect lesson or a perfect class. Each of my groups are totally different in their own ways, one lesson may go one way for my first group, and totally different for the next. Either way I have learned to go with the flow, learn how my children learn and interact then take that and tweak the lesson to fit them. You can anticipate just how you may want a lesson to go, but I have learned not to be disappointed or discouraged if it doesn’t go the way I planned. Here nothing does, and that is ok. It is refreshing to step out of the box I was in back home, and come to a place where I am a student every day, and taking that to relate to my kids is the best tool I can use.