I’m a student teaching students.
It wasn’t until my final semester at college when I realized that what I really wanted to do was become an ESL teacher. My only experience with people who had taught English in other countries were college students who did it for a summer job or missionaries who were “pretending” to be English teachers.
But for me, I tell people the reason I teach is for the “lightbulb”. It’s that moment when you’re explaining a new idea or concept to someone and there’s that moment when you can literally see they’ve gotten it. Like a lightbulb has come on. And when knowledge impacts someone, it changes them.
In 2008 after graduating from Clearwater Christian College, I volunteered with S.O.S. Ministries to go to El Salvador and teach English in a small orphanage in Zacatecoluca for 3 months.
After that, I began volunteering for some youth ministries in the US as well as working at a local high school as a Doorways Mentor as well as being heavily involved in the school’s drama department.
In 2010 I went to Xining, China with ELIC as a ESL teacher to teach and train local teachers for a 3 month summer contract.
A year later, in September of 2011 I departed for Ukraine as a US Peace Corps TEFL Volunteer. I taught English in the high school in the town of Vyzhnytsya in the Chernivetska Oblast. I served as a volunteer there for 2 and a half years until, do to the political revolution at the time, I was evacuated and brought back to the States. During my time in the Peace Corps:
- I taught over 1,500 hours of secondary school classroom experience teaching grammar and advanced conversational English.
- I started and managed an after school drama club, journalism club, volunteer club and English club for secondary school students.
- I organized and conducted over 300 hours of teacher training seminars focusing on methodology, classroom management and resources.
- I conducted over 500 hours of private English tutoring for children to adults seeking educational and professional advancement.
Shortly after my return to the States and the premature end of my Peace Corps service, I received and accepted a job offer from Education First in Shanghai, China. So in July of 2014 I arrived in Shanghai and began working for EF’s adult language center in the Zhongshan Park area of Shanghai. During this first year with EF I also gained both a:
40-hour online TEFL certification and
120-hour, In-Class TEFL certification
Towards the end of my 1 year contract at the language center I was recruited by another department of EF operating in Shanghai: EF Academic Partnerships, which sends qualified, EF English teachers to teach at local, Chinese universities.
So, in the summer of 2015 I took the summer to get my CELTA certification through International House in Prague, Czech Republic and then returned to Shanghai to start teaching with EF AP.
I spent two years teaching at Shanghai University; teaching subjects such as Academic Writing, Public Speaking and Western Culture. It was a challenging 2 years and I learned a lot. In 2017, it was time to move on and start a new adventure.
After receiving a job offer at the American School of Wroclaw, my partner and I moved to Wrocław, Poland in the summer of 2017. At ASW I worked as the Primary Department Coordinator as well as taught English and Social Studies to 4th, 5th and 6th grade students. It was a challenging two years as I took on more of an administrator role and less of a teaching role.
In June of 2019 Luis and I planned to make a move to the UK but I would need to move first to settle down and comply with the very long list of requirements from the British Home Office for Luis to apply for permanent residence on a partnership visa. I am now working as an EFL Teacher at EF in Oxford and Luis is teaching at an International school in Warsaw. This period of dealing with a long distance relationship is not easy but we are dealing with it as best we can.