I have taught everyone from 3 years to adults, everywhere from public high schools to private elementary schools to extracurricular settings to a vocational college, on four continents. I have taught everything from private lessons to classes of fifty students, from general academic English to Content-Based Instruction musical theatre classes. I have taught in technologically advanced classrooms and at schools where I only had a chalkboard and no books. By deliberating seeking out the range of teaching experiences I’ve had, I have developed an appreciation of both my core beliefs as a language teacher and the need for flexibility and local contextualization.
As a teacher I believe that every student, regardless of place of birth, family resources or social status, deserves quality English education and that it is my job to facilitate learning in the way that will be most effective in the local context. I believe that interactive, student-centered and creative teaching approaches are effective, but that it is my responsibility as a teacher to acclimatize my students to these techniques if they are unfamiliar and to create hybrid methods when necessary. I believe that students learn in different ways and that using multilingual and multimodal approaches can maximize learning opportunities. I believe that incorporating movement and the arts into language classes can engage students and facilitate greater fluency and deeper learning. I believe that I can help my students learn more quickly and effectively by helping them notice the patterns and systems inherent in language. I believe that English is intrinsically linked to uneven power dynamics, with a colonial legacy and a current globally dominant position. I believe that it is important to support students’ multilingual identities and to examine issues of social justice and identity in the classroom.