I had never haboured any ambitions of becoming a teacher, my mum was a Nursery school teacher, (in fact she had taught me) and yet the thought had never crossed my mind.
I left university with a BA honors in Drama and English Literary Studies without having ever really thought about the reality of how my degree would translate into the working world. People i knew were doing CELTAs and this seemed like both a sensible and a fun option. I worked in a couple of academies in London (Avalon and Regent) before gaining enough courage and experience to go abroad (with my best and oldest friend) and teach on the Burma Volunteer Program in Mae Sot, Thailand.
Upon my return, i was ready for the next step in my career. I took the Drama and English PGCE at the Institute of Education and took an English Teaching job at one of the largest secondary comprehensives in London. And it was there that the real learning began; engaging learners that hadn’t chosen to be there, often combating negative attitudes towards education. It was a pressurised environment which challenged me in ways that i hadn’t thought possible. Behaviour was a massive issue yet despite this or possibly because of this, i worked with many inspirational teachers who consistently thought of innovative ways of pushing themselves, their learners and their staff. And cheesy as this sounds, it was here that i fell in love with teaching and learning; seeing the real impact you could have on those that needed it the most. I soon realised that the key to ‘outstanding lessons’ was the teacher-class-student dynamic, and once you had mastered this relationship, you could take more risks. I loved planning lessons that were adventurous; outside the classroom, using drama or multi-media to engage, to recondition students into thinking that learning could be fun and rewarding.
I took the following positions: in charge of Gifted and Talented students, Head of Media Studies, Leader of Y7 English and Mentor for PGCE English Students culminating in 2nd in charge of English in my 3rd year of teaching.
But after 4 years, i decided to pack up and move to Barcelona and nearly 3 years later, i’m still here. I teach English mainly for Cambridge Exams (FCE and CAE) at a private school and next year will introduce Media Studies at Bacherelato (Y12).
Last year, i set up Director’s Chair – Creative English Language Workshops. I believe that learning a language comprises of repetition and creative ownership. The workshops that i have run this year have been for 6-7 year olds. We have engaged with the language through song, dance, games, making crafts, reading/acting out stories and play; and it has been a real success. Some of the resources for my lessons can be found here or on my Pinterest board.
My vision is that Director’s Chair will run a variety of English language courses (creative kids club, a drama club, a film-making club and different workshops for adults) and these can take place in existing studio spaces or schools. The details of upcoming courses for Sept start can be found on my facebook page.
And so to the purpose of this blog… Well originally it was as a platform to raise awareness of Director’s Chair but i soon realised that most of my visitors weren’t from Spain and therefore unlikely to sign their child up for a course!! So i guess the purpose is actually for me to reflect upon my own practice and share resources and lesson ideas. Hopefully this will enable me to ‘meet’ likeminded educators/bloggers. So if you’ve found yourself here and have similar interests to me, then please leave a link to your blog in the comments below and i’ll check it out. Alternatively contact me about courses @ firstname.lastname@example.org