“Don’t try to fit into a mold. Bring the best parts of yourself to the job."
Eva Gordon, a positive and passionate teacher at Teocali Academy in Liberia, Costa Rica loves being around children. Her friends and family would never have imagined she would end up teaching in another country. Eva grew up in Georgia and went to Tulane University to pursue a degree in exercise physiology. She transferred to Berry College where she majored in Spanish and minored in education. A few years later she received her Master’s in Spanish Literature from N.C State University.
Eva is motivated by children progressing and positive feedback from children and parents. She enjoys being able to watch a child get better whether it is in the classroom or on the soccer field. Eva coaches a soccer team called the Morphos (Butterflies). Eva finds inspiration in those she admires such as Mrs. Adams, her high school Spanish teacher. Eva enjoyed Mrs. Adam’s use of stations to learn Spanish, and she currently utilizes stations to help her students learn English.
As a teacher and leader, Eva leads by being proactive. She enjoys getting things done while also focusing on quality. When working with Eva expect her to be direct and provide her opinion. Students can expect Eva to provide a vast array of interactive activities to help them learn. For example, students recently helped her write a play about the Earth. Eva is grateful for Pinterest which helps spur her creativity.
There are classes that Eva wishes were added to the curriculum in the United States and Costa Rica. She feels that children in the U.S would benefit from learning language skills at a younger age. She wishes that children in C.R were able to take a sex education class. Eva feels that all children could benefit from lessons on values. She does not think it has to be an entire class. However, time should be spent each week discussing values in creative ways such as through interactive games.
Working in a different country can be challenging, and there are a lot of possible barriers such as obtaining a work visa. Eva counts herself lucky because there are only two schools in her area. She started out in high school and is happy she was able to transition to elementary school. Another barrier she faces daily is being away from her family. They would love for her to live closer. Eva is grateful for her parent’s constant support. Eva has not ruled out returning to the United States one day; the position would have to be the right fit.
Living in a tropical paradise provides a great backdrop for fun and relaxation. Eva enjoys the beach, running, knitting, coloring, puzzles and watching television. She also enjoys going on vacation. She would like to travel to Patagonia and Mt. Everest one day. Coming home to her four dogs makes her smile. Eva’s favorite word is bliss, which happens to be the name of one of her dogs. When Eva is back home in the United States, she loves being able to have her favorite dessert, apple crisp from The Cheesecake Factory.
Eva encourages future leaders to:
Always… be yourself, don’t try to change just for the system.
Never… compromise yourself for your job. Do what’s right.
Follow… your heart as well as the code of the job. However, remember it’s not always a numbers game.