My constant motivation is the 'classroom high' you get when your students are engaged and exchanging knowledge and thoughts. - Debbie Bruylant
To kick off our 2019 season of honoring dual language teachers of the month, we begin with recognizing Ms. Deborah Bruylant, our first international dual language teacher of the month! Debbie hails from a non-profit, private school in the jungle of Costa Rica, Futuro-Verde. It is a pre-k-12th grade IB World School and offers a 50/50 Spanish/English dual language program. Our panel unanimously chose Deborah as our dual language teacher of the month for January, and with that, we are excited to share with you some more about her!
Debbie has been involved in the education field for over 15 years now and began by teaching English and Spanish as a second/third language to adults. After which, she had the opportunity to dive into sports education. With this opportunity, she found herself organizing summer camps and teaching yearlong general sports classes for children. When her son was born, she took the advantage of the time off from work to take a specialized course on public service translating and interpreting.
Once she had obtained certification in both English and Spanish, she was discovered by the Flemish semi-governmental agency for public service interpreting/translating to teach this specialized course to new candidates. After being a public service instructor for 5 years, Debbie and her family moved to Costa Rica, where she soon started to work as a language specialist for Futuro Verde.
Debbie oversees multiple aspects of our language programming and support for all students PreK through high school, as a support component to our 50-50 Spanish/English dual language program. Debbie teaches a Futuro Verde original course called Comparative Language Study (CLS) with our preschool through 6th grade students. Held weekly, the goal of CLS is to activate our students' thinking as metalinguistic learners and help them to build bridges between the 10 different native languages spoken at home in our school and our two languages of instruction. Debbie also coordinates newcomer and intervention groups for students new to either of our languages of instruction. - Lural Ramirez, School Director, Futuro Verde
Her biggest influence in becoming an educator stems from her parents, who are both PE teachers. Debbie continues to utilize her own athletic experiences by coaching gymnastics and as an assistant coach for their school swim team. She also received inspiration from the passionate professionals she worked with both in Belgium and at Futuro Verde. Debbie's story of how she arrived at Futuro Verde is one that will make our Midwest and east-coast dual language programs very jealous in the month of January!
The principal of Futuro Verde had moved to Costa Rica around the same time as my family, and we met and became friends on the beach. She knew I was looking for a good school for my children, and a few months later, she contacted me asking if I would be interested in working at her bilingual, international school.