Live and Work in Paradise...
Teaching English in Costa Rica

Teaching English in Costa Rica...

"Good morning teacher - how are you today?"...

It's a greeting Adrienne Banka never gets tired of, welcomed by her students every time she enters the classroom - at the Centra Educativo Cobano in Puntarenas, Costa Rica... home of Las Ardillitas - or Squirrels! as we say in English.

Adrienne with her students...

Teaching English in Costa Rica Group
Adrienne Banka with Egerlin, Daniel, Jose-Andres and Carlos-Jose

Half a year teaching here, today - Adrienne invited me to attend her one of her classes -- students Egerlin, Daniel, Jose-Andres, and Carlos-Jose - all in attendance.

And I had arrived just in time...

Finishing up with a vocabulary review - the students were learning about numbers and clothing... she was just about to begin with a favorite reinforcer...

Teaching English in Costa Rica Animals
Teaching English Vocabulary with Charades... Very Effective!

Vocabulary charades!

You could easily tell... acting out the words was a terrific way to cement the learning. The theme was animals - and wow... the students really took to it.

Here - I invite you to read on... come see what it's like - teaching English in Costa Rica - a first-hand account from Adrienne herself...

Teaching English in Costa Rica

Six months prior - January to be exact... Adrienne had just arrived in Costa Rica - her intent... to land a job in the nation's capital - San Jose.

A twist of fate - coupled with a desire to live closer to the beach... she soon found a job in Cobano, gateway to the popular beach towns of Montezuma and Mal Pais, far south on the Nicoya Peninsula...

Teaching English in Costa Rica Question
Teaching English in Costa RIca

A total of 19 classes a week, as she explained... Adrienne teaches students first through sixth grade - each class about an hour and twenty minutes in length.

Teaching English in Costa Rica Adrienne Banka
Teaching English!

And as she went on...

Teaching English here is really quite rewarding.

She recounted how in the beginning... some students were a bit shy - not so eager to speak out.

Over time though, patience and taking an active interest in them -- students would become much more involved - asking more questions, volunteering, and including new vocabulary in sentences.

Teaching English in Costa Rica Students
Students Jose-Andres and Daniel

There were times when she'd introduce a new activity, one her students would really take to.

Encouraging them to get up, out of their seats - and interact... the learning (and teaching) became much more effective, and enjoyable.

Something else she really enjoyed about the job...

There were times when the students - everyone in the school actually... would take part in 'acto civico' - designated days for extracurricular activities.

One example - performing music as a group...

Teaching English in Costa Rica Music
Performing at the SINEM Concert in Cobano

In the above photo...

Anya Forestell (far left), and Abbie Stout (second from the left) - also teachers in Cobano and Montezuma... lead students during a concert made possible by SINEM (Sistema Nacional de Educacion Musical) - a government program that provides musical instruments to less fortunate children.

Nearing the end of class - I just had to ask Adrienne...

Aside from teaching English - what's it like - living in Costa Rica?

Living in Costa Rica

In choosing to live near the beach - quite some distance away from the San Jose - life in Costa Rica was, as Adrienne put it...

tranquillo :-)

As she went on... teaching English in Cobano was ideal.

Hub of the Nicoya - here you can find everything you need... grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, hardware stores, and every Monday - a market where you can purchase all sorts of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Teaching English in Costa Rica Cobano
Lina with Fresh Coffee, Mangos in Your Backyard... and a Visit to the Market

Still - at the end of each day of teaching, it's not Cobano that Adrienne calls home, but Montezuma - about a half hour drive from the school - and one of the most popular beach towns in the country...

Teaching English in Costa Rica Sites
The Beauty that is Montezuma...

Surrounded by beautiful beaches and coastlines - nature in every direction... it really is something.

And this is the thing...

Choosing to teach English in a more remote location like Cobano - there's a trade-off.

Teaching English in Costa Rica Beach
Teaching English at the Beach!?

In San Jose for example, there are more opportunities to find higher paying English teaching jobs.

Corporations actively seek out teachers to help verse their employees in English.

In a place like Cobano (and Montezuma) however... the pay isn't nearly as lucrative - and to be quite frank... you'll be making just enough to live on.

But that said - as Adrienne went on... living in a smaller town definitely has its perks. As you get to know the area- everything and everyone being so close... she was happy to find just how helpful and friendly people were.

Teaching English here - in part, helped in saving money on rent, meals at restaurants - and every now and then -- catching a ride to work. Definitely benefits to being in a small town like Cobano, and Montezuma.

So, do you want to teach English in Costa Rica?

If so - and Adrienne stressed this - do keep the following in mind...

It's true - coming to a tropical place like Costa Rica - the chance to work here, and in your free time - explore this beautiful place... is no less than amazing.

Teaching English in Costa Rica Teacher and Student
Adrienne and Egerlin

But it will certainly take a strong commitment on your part.

Be sure you can dedicate a solid six months+ to your students... they will depend on you.

Being flexible is also important.

There will be times where you'll be asked to work different hours - or take part in extracurricular events. Again, something to consider.

Leading by example - up at 6:30am every morning or a little over half a year now - coupled with how she interacted with her students in class... it was obvious...

Adrienne really enjoyed this experience, living and working in Costa Rica.


And now you've got the scoop on teaching English in Costa Rica. See you soon for more interesting information on the Rich Coast! :-)