After finishing A-levels, I set off for my first teaching adventure in Tanzania. A combination of curiosity and Coca-Cola kept me going for the six-month project and fuelled travels around Malawi, Zambia and Kenya – and then I decided that this travel and teach thing would be my calling in life. So off to university I went, and four years later, armed with a degree in French and Drama, a Cert. TESOL and a year’s teaching experience, I started in earnest.
In the years since that first trip I have taught English in France, Poland, New Zealand, Indonesia, and the UK; my students have been small kids, teenagers, NGO workers, business people, hotel staff, pre-university students and reality TV show contestants. An overwhelming majority of experiences have been good and I feel lucky to be able to say I still love my job.
Now working for Bellerbys College London as an English teacher, academic tutor and educational technologies teacher trainer, my eyes have been opened to the possibilities that technology offers – not to replace teachers and homework and books and studying, but to complement them and move with these techie times to make the learning experience better and more relevant for students. At the moment, I’m especially interested in developing learner independence, motivation and core skills through the use of technology – and by doing all this without adding to a teacher’s daily tasks. I’m still careful to balance out all this work though, with daily travel daydreams and regular trips away…