The site has now been running for sixteen months live, and it’s been an interesting experience so far. I’ve learned a lot about myself and have some ideas on how to continue improving it and making it more enjoyable and accessible to visitors. There has been a steep learning curve with online content but I feel like I’m making progress and offering value to those who do visit.
I’ve been teaching English as a foreign language for twelve years now and the journey has taken me across the world. I’ve had the opportunity to meet students of many nationalities, ages, and levels of English. It’s been an amazing journey which continues to this day. About four years ago I decided to leave the language school I had been loyal to for so many years and go solo. At the time it was risky because I didn’t have the necessary private lessons and business clients to sustain me. Now, I can say with pride that I have completely separated from the language schools and would only consider returning on a consulting basis.
The goals initially were to be independent and make a living. I can now say that I have accomplished those goals and I have moved forward in my career and set new ones. I believe that once you earn enough to live without struggling you are then given a wonderful opportunity to focus on goals that can bring change and improvement to the people that hire you. Nowadays, it is about offering guidance, advice and suggestions on how to be a better human being, motivated, responsible and with improved overall confidence. When that is there, language learning becomes so much more fun, less difficult and rewarding for both teachers and students.
When you move away from the course book, and a rigid system that has rules and just focuses on exercises and testing, a teacher can now focus on what really matters, learning. Not just words, but perspective and a way of thinking. It requires dedication, passion and trust. If your students see it in you, they will be inspired to do the same. Showing students that you believe in their potential and encouraging them to develop their grit is essential. I believe that taking off the shackles that schools put on teachers gives you the freedom to shape lives for the better and this site is all about bringing that message to more teachers, more students and anyone who wishes to improve, put in the effort and grow as a human being.
I can honestly say that I am a completely different teacher than I was when I started. I have always tried to set the mark higher, challenge myself, and constantly look for fresh approaches and methods to improve the learning outcomes of students. I encourage you to read the blog on what all that entails.
Join ESL trailblazer and let’s create a community of educators and students that can bring the change to education and learning we so desperately need. It starts with one single step, one single act, one single commitment. Eventually we can have the respect teachers deserve and the learning that students deserve as well. For me, it’s all about responsibility. If we are willing to be responsible for what we teach and what our students learn then that single step is the biggest and most profound.
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