Hello and welcome, my name is Shaun and I write here at Teachers Muse. My goal is to write about the latest trends in teaching, learning and education. I will interview teachers, sharing insights into the challenges and rewards of teaching, in digital classrooms, in traditional classrooms, from all around the world. However, in this article, I want to outline some of my teaching experiences.
My teaching experience started teaching five years ago, on the Cambridge CELTA. I was finishing my BA (Hons) Business Management degree and I was considering my next step. Teaching English seemed a great option as it opens many doors around the world, for travelling, meeting people, and experiencing other cultures. It seemed a practical option.
The CELTA is a challenging course. I soon learnt the difference between explicit and implicit knowledge: I knew when something was wrong in a sentence but, at first, I couldn’t explain why. It is a fast paced course, and in a short amount of time we learnt many things including grammar, lesson planning, and delivery.
After the CELTA, I went to Spain and taught in Sevilla for one year. Sevilla is a beautiful city, with delicious food, warm weather and friendly people. During this time, I taught in academies, schools, businesses, and I also gave one-to-one classes. One thing I noticed was how, at this time, while many businesses were failing, people were out of work and becoming impoverished, the demand for English not only continued, but increased.
I later returned to the UK, and taught online for close to one year, primarily using iTalki.com. I taught hundreds of classes, to students from 127 different countries around the world.
Hour by hour, I was becoming a better teacher, hour by hour, becoming more knowledgeable about the world. It is quite possible I learnt just as much from my students as I from them. This interest in teaching grew, like a seedling fed with experience, excited by the new faces I met, inspired by the new languages they spoke, intrigued by the stories they shared. I knew teaching was for me.
I returned to university, to study the PGCE, to develop my skills and become a qualified teacher. I started that course with several years of experience, with the belief I already knew most of the tricks, with the confidence that most post-beginners have, but I was soon humbled. By the end of that course, my cognitive bias in teaching switched from believing I knew a lot, to thinking I know little.
After completing the PGCE, I joined Meten in Shenyang, China, as an English teacher. I have been teaching in Meten since August 2016, and I have learnt a great deal about teaching, Chinese people, and even myself.
In upcoming blog posts, I will delve deeper into my own experiences, as well as those of others. You can also post comments and share your own experiences.