Blanca Mayo Ruiz is a Global first-year Dual Language Immersion (DLI) teacher working at Jones Spanish Immersion Magnet Elementary School in Guilford County, NC. She has showcased her culture, strong teaching pedagogy, and amazing spirit since she stepped foot into her classroom in August.
Below, she shares a little bit about herself and her journey so far!
Hello! My name is Blanca Mayo Ruiz and I ́m from México. I’ve been a kindergarten teacher for 14 years.
Our job as educators is a huge responsibility but the most rewarding one! I am passionate about being a teacher because I believe every day is different. Every day is an opportunity to learn with every child and leave a beautiful memory in every child’s life that will last for a lifetime.
Being a kindergarten teacher reminds you to amaze with small details and constantly think of offering children many possibilities to intensify their motivations and create rich learning experiences. It is my responsibility to help them believe in themselves and generate curiosity in things that will make them continue learning throughout their lives.
What has been the best part of your experience so far?
My idea of living this experience as a global educator has gone far beyond my expectations! I feel I have learned so many things in such a short time.
This experience allows me to know and enrich my teaching, meet amazing people, make great friendships, and find support in everyone around me. Also, understand and learn about other cultures, places, and traditions. And, of course, travel around the beautiful Carolinas. It has also been tough sometimes, but always having Global advisors and coaches on your back makes it easier.
What do you enjoy the most about the students that you are working with?
I love to hear every morning my children say: “Buenos días, cómo estás?” to me when they arrive. I enjoy seeing them getting excited when understanding or making their translations of what they know, listening to stories in Spanish, and observing their faces throughout the story. And just seeing them grow every day, not only academically but globally, becoming open-minded, starting to use a second language, and more curious about the world around them is priceless!
What has been a challenge you have overcome, and how do you think you have changed positively from that experience?
Not everything has been as beautiful and easy as one thought. I didn’t think it would be so different but adapting to the US school system, new ways of documenting learning, and all these platforms for evaluating has been a real challenge. When you are just learning to use one, another deadline comes with another platform and another way of assessing quickly.
What has worked for me is to be well organized, set clear priorities, and focus on completing tasks by importance. While reminding myself that I am still in a learning process where no matter how many years of experience I have, it feels like I’m starting from zero. This is also good because it has taught me to adapt quickly to an environment of constant change.
What keeps you going everyday and showing up for your students?
Every day is an opportunity to make my little ones happy, to explore and enjoy little moments full of learning with them.
I feel a little part of me is helping to build global minds for future generations. What I can do as an international teacher is an opportunity to challenge the children in appropriate ways to help them observe, analyze, interpret and help them have critical thinking minds to create their own hypotheses about the millions of possibilities in the world we live in.
What are some ways that you have shared your culture with your students so far throughout the experience?
I share my culture daily through different moments: During lunchtime, when they ask me about my food and try it, sing Mexican songs, or play traditional games.
Learning about Mexico’s Independence, celebrating and understanding the importance and meaning of the Day of the Death, and being part of this beautiful celebration with the whole community was amazing. In addition, it was beautiful receiving comments from co-workers and parents about the feeling this celebration generated in them.
And last, we had a live class where Mexicans and Americans shared some moments, curiosities, and points of view by asking each other questions about life, food, and ways of living in their different countries.
When children engage with something, their curiosity flows into wanting to learn more about it. I look forward to encouraging students to think globally and develop universal values and memories throughout the year!