A Small Insight on Sam

One of the seniors at Tide Academy is Sam. Sam joined TIDE last year from Sacramento California. As Sam’s 12th grade History teacher I am always excited to hear his perspectives and personal outlook on life. Sam is analytical, enjoys critical thinking and open in sharing his opinions on almost anything. I sat down with Sam this week to talk about what he’s learned in high school and his plans for the future.

1. What are some of the most important things that you have learned about yourself while in high school?
Not a lot of matters. In the big picture, not a whole lot of things you learn in class will be applicable for your life. But, I learned people. How people act, how people interact and how people function within a structure. I’ve learned to be able to read people and it has helped me better understand who I connect with and how to interact with people.

Connecting with people comes quite easy for Sam. He enjoys chatting with people, hanging out with his friends, and of course, chilling out.

2.Describe a skill, principle or concept learned in a class that you will use in your future career?
Humor. Adam is a funny dude and having a humorous outlook on life will better prepare you to face some of that obstacles that life will inevitably and continually throw at you.

Sam is always willing to try new things, help out around the school with laboring odd jobs and help in the pre-school. Although Sam does not know what life will look like in the distant future, he wants to travel, relax and see what opportunities open to him. Oh, and he wants to be a stuntman because he thinks he’d be awesome at it.

Sam is currently working on attaining his TEFL certificate, so he can us it to travel and possible work in Asia this upcoming year. It has been great to see Sam become a school leader and use his time in our Community Internship class to further his career development in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Machete License?

One of the electives currently offered at TIDE Academy is an Ecology/Gardening/ Scouts class. I know, that’s a lot of slashes, right? This is due the nature of the course. As the students interests and wonders have developed so has the direction of the elective. Although the same outcomes are achieved, in this popular elective, the road to reaching the outcomes has adapted along the way.  Their current mission is creating a jungle trial to explore the local ecosystem.

Speaking of slashes, how does someone get a machete license? Interest in using a machete is a natural desire for some students and let’s be honest, it’s cool! One of the earlier classes of the year involved opening the abundance of coconuts that were taken off the school’s coconut trees. This… required a machete.

Another goal of the class has been making a jungle trail through the trees to the estuary. The project will provide a walking path and sitting area, so students can explore and work outside. This will also create space for students to identify plants, animals and become more familiar with their local ecosystem. Making a trial in the jungle isn’t an easy task and like opening a coconut, requires a machete. Usually, this is a job reserved for one of our veteran teachers and ecological enthusiast, Moses.

Moses is the coordinator of the course and is always willing to explore students’ interests and personalize their learning. When one of the 4thgrade students, Sam, and one of the 8th graders, ZJ told Moses about their interest to use a machete, Moses was quick to encourage their parents to support their learning interest. Long story short, after many overseen hours they excitedly received parental approval and their machete license.

Personally, it has been great to see how Sam and ZJ have gained a skill that many others would fear. Parents, teachers and students work together to help students gain skills they are enthused about.  We are looking forward to sharing the walking path with parents once it is complete.




One of my favorite parts of teaching the Community Internship class at TIDE Academy is seeing students develop interests in areas that they might otherwise not explore. KombuchaGusto is a local business that was started by Victoria and has been growing over the years. Victoria came to TIDE earlier in the year to talk to the Community Internship classes. She discussed the process of starting her business, the history and health benefits of Kombucha and ways students could get involved. Zoe, one of the Community Internship students has since been learning how to make Kombucha and has been working with Victoria at the Tamarindo Night Market.

Zoe helps by selling Kombucha and other items at the market. She has been learning communication, cooperation and conversation skills by talking to her customers and working with Victoria. She tells customers details about how Kombucha is made and the flavors that are infused in this ancient beverage. She also helps promote other products like tea, flower crowns and sage sticks. Zoe has also been part of the Kombucha making workshops and is learning plenty of life skills along the way.

When asked what skills she has learned working with Victoria and being part of the night market Zoe was quick to acknowledge how this has developed her ability to talk to people and work with colleagues.  She also said that the night market is a nice place to go when you want to buy local and support smaller businesses. It has a nice welcoming vibe with live music and the occasional fire dancer.

At TIDE Academy we are always looking for learning opportunities and possible businesses for the students to volunteer and learn at. Thank you, Victoria, for lending your time and expertise to our Community Internship class.  Stay tuned for more learning experiences students have been involved with outside of school.

To find more out about what Kombucha is, workshops and where you can purchase it, visit Victoria on Facebook @Kombuchagusto.


Also, be sure to pop by the Tamarindo Night Market to try a sample of Kombucha from Zoe and take in all the amazing food, music and support local businesses. https://www.facebook.com/belowtheTamarindogym/


It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Isabel  

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Isabel  

Throughout the year we will be focusing on Senior students’ lives and futures. The seniors at TIDE Academy come from a variety of places and bring with them diverse personalities.As the grade 11/12 History and Community Internship teacher, I am gifted with the wise words of the seniors daily and excited to share them.

Today, we focus on Isabel. Isabel is one of our short-term students, who joined our team for the first semester this year. We sat down and talk to her about academics, advice for future short-term students and her future.

Isabel is highly academic and driven to achieve her education goals. She came to Costa Rica to explore Costa Rica and experience a different culture. Isabel is involved in multiple extracurricular activities such as Dance Academy, Surf Academy and is part of The Little Mermaid production (stay tuned). To achieve her goals, Isabel works hard, stays organized and volunteers to help her apply for scholarships to get into college.

A few words of wisdom from Isabel about succeeding in school and in life:

  1. What skills did you learn in high school?

You don’t have to have your whole life figured out. Just learn to love your life, the way it is. People stress about future things so much, and it makes them miserable. Learn to live in the moment and to appreciate the little things.

  1. What advice would you give to the lower grades at TIDE Academy?

Ask questions! It helps you understand more of what you’re learning and appreciate your teachers more.

Just have fun. Go see all the amazing parts of Costa Rica, and be grateful for every part of it, because nothing can substitute experience.


  1. When you look back on your life in 50 years, what would it take for you to consider your life successful?

Success has a different connotation nowadays, people think of it as following a path that everyone else has done before you (go to college, get a job, marriage, kids, etc.). However, the thing that I want most is to be completely content and satisfied with my life. I want to be happy with myself no matter how big my paycheck.

Although Isabel is unsure as to what she wants to do for a career she is determined to get into college. Her dream job would involve working remotely on her computer, so she can travel wherever she wants.

If you see Isabel, please be sure to talk to her about her role as Ariel in The Little Mermaid, her time in Costa Rica and get to know her bubbly personality.