Making the most of…


I started teaching 12 years ago in Manchester. Previously I had completed a degree in American History – an experience I really enjoyed, but not one that opened up many doors in Leicester where I was living at the time. My knowledge of the foreign policy of Harry Truman wasn’t very in demand.

I eventually got a job in sales and later became a Sales Manager. I really enjoyed the management side, but not the sales aspect. I decided I might be better off spending a year in Italy (in fact it was my boss who suggested the idea – which gives you an idea of how good I was at sales). I qualified to teach ESOL and was about to head to Italy when I was offered a job in my native Manchester.

I spent a wonderful year teaching adults in North Manchester, and though I was very tempted to stay, I stuck to my original plan and in 2001 I moved to Milan. Two years later I started teaching for International House Milan and found my spiritual home there.

Lots of wonderful food and a couple of years later, I was asked to become Director of Studies (much to the surprise (horror?!?) of my colleagues). I’ve been DoS at IH Milan ever since . I love working for IH and although it’s not very cool to admit it, I really love the management side of my job and have taken as many management training courses and read as many management books as I could. I’ve even started doing presentations on such interesting topics as ‘managing your email inbox.’ For the last 8 years I’ve been happily stealing ideas and tips from hundreds of great sources and gurus. I feel much of the advice I’ve been given could have helped me when I was a newly-qualified teacher.

In this series of blog posts I would like to share some of the tips I’ve been given and things I’ve picked up.

I’ve called the series ‘Making the most of…‘ I would love for you to try out some of the ideas  – the ones that work for you come from sources greater than I …any that fail, well, I’m sure they’re my fault and I apologize in advance!

In Making the Most of Observations (Monday 8th April) we dare to look at the lesson observation as a good thing and think about the most effective ways to approach them.

In Making the Most of Training (Monday 15th April) we will look at tips designed to help you get real learning and development from face-to-face and online training.

In Making the Most of your Time (Monday 22nd April) we face up to the reality that the teacher’s life is a busy one and share tips on how to get on top of the work flow.

Finally, in Making the Most of your Career (Monday 29th April) I share some tips on writing CVs, looking for jobs, attending interviews and progressing in your current schools

If that’s not enough of my management waffle, you can read more at my semi-retired blog

Otherwise, feel free to contact me at



  • Awesome! Can’t wait to follow the series 🙂 Thanks, Mike!

    Posted by Nora Haddad on April 04th 2013

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