Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I don't think I decided to become a teacher as much as teaching chose me! I began my working life in journalism and slowly made my way 'home' to teaching. I say this because it is a job in which I get to use all my strengths in a way that is truly helpful to others. I love meeting new people, tackling new ideas and motivating others. There is a thrill to teaching which is captured when a student has those special 'ah-ha!' moments, and that inspires me.
Which is your preferred age group / course to teach and why?
I like teaching all age groups but especially those heading towards, and in, secondary school. This is mainly because it is a moment when it's so easy to become demotivated about learning a new language, or lose your confidence, or just make the decision that it's not for you. I remember feeling like that, I remember overcoming it, and I want my students to be able to do that too.
Tell us a funny moment you've had in class.
I was teaching a young learner new words about clothes and we reached 'jumper'. I repeated jumper a few times, and he suddenly said, 'JUMP! JUMPER!'. He stood up and began jumping around, delighted that he had discovered another meaning to the word! And boy, did he love jumping! It was a good few minutes until we all sat back down again to learn 'trousers'.
What do students find most difficult and how do you help them?
I think one of the most difficult things for students, especially students who have been learning english for years in school, is the act of transferring what they learn in textbooks and structured exercises into creative speech. They will often know more than they think they know, but it is a question of getting this knowledge out of the boxes and on display! This happens with practice and confidence, which is where I come in!
What do your students love most about your classes?
Probably my inclination towards a high-five. Although quite possibly it is also what they dislike most! I'm not sure!