Being an Isla Mujeres Celebrity
~ By Katie
One of the wildest and most enjoyable aspects of teaching English on such a small island is that no matter where I go or what I’m doing, I always seem to run into a student excited to see me. “Maestra de ingles!” or “Teacher! Teacher!” I hear while at the grocery store picking out avocados, biking along the coast at sunset, and even walking around downtown at night. Even when I don’t see my students, I often come into class and the first thing I’m told is “teacher! I saw you at the store!”. The sweetest part about it they genuinely seem excited just to have seen me, outside of school, in the real world, proving that I really exist. The kids are so interested in us; where we’re from, what we like/don’t like, and obviously what we do when we’re not teaching. Just them having an insight into my personal life seems to be an extension of their foreign language exposure.
I’ve had this experience constantly this past weekend. First was when I participated in the school’s Dia de la Revolucion celebration downtown. Many kids from all the schools were out, and every time they see and recognize you their faces literally light up, and many come up to hug you. next was when I travelled to the mainland over the weekend. Also taking the ferry were many of my students, dressed in their soccer uniforms on their way to a game. They were excited to tell us all about their match. Even once in Cancun, I would up riding the same colectivo (public transportation) as another one of my students, out for a day in Cancun with his grandma. And finally when I was back home to the island Sunday night, I got a few hugs from some of my younger students, also out shopping with their parents. Honestly, at this point I think I’m getting more excited to see my kids than they are to see me. I’m starting to love that whether in or out of the classroom, I am always going to be known as The English Teacher. No matter what I’m doing there seems to be a few small sets of eyes on me, whether I know it or not.