How did you get into teaching English as a foreign language?
After finishing University I wanted to travel and see the world. My first adventure was back-packing in South-East Asia in 2002, after which I worked in Thailand for a year. Since then I’ve had various teaching and training jobs in Spain, Japan, Switzerland and the UK and have also worked as a school director of studies in the UK.
Where in the world have you most enjoyed teaching?
It’s difficult to choose! My favourite places were probably Madrid and Chiang Mai (Northern Thailand).
What’s the worst tense to teach?
I like teaching grammar, but my least favourite language point to teach is probably reported speech because the rules are quite complex.
How did it feel to stand up in front of a class for the first time?
Nerve-wracking! However, I soon learned that paying close attention to your students is a good way to get over it.
What’s your favourite food?
Tom yum soup
What is your best TEFL experience?
I’ve had loads of great times, but one of the funniest experiences was taking part in a school dance routine with a group of Thai teachers. We practised every day for a week and I still forgot my steps!
What is your worst TEFL experience?
I’ve never had any really bad experiences. I did once feel ill during a lesson, which was pretty awful! I somehow got through it but my advice would definitely be to stay at home if you have the flu!
Do you have any advice for anyone who is about to head out abroad to teach English?
Teaching abroad can sometimes seem like a solitary profession, but it’s hugely important to share and discuss ideas with other teachers, keep an open-mind and make use of the support networks and resources available to you. Technology makes this a lot easier nowadays.