TEACHING EXPERIENCE I've been in the classroom since 2000, beginning with teaching English as an Additional Language in the UK and abroad. I then moved into teaching English language and literature in mainstream schools. I've taught across all age groups, and currently work with delightful, multinational teenagers in Southeast Asia. I work in an international school, and split the rest of my professional time between producing resources and supporting teachers to make their classrooms more culturally-sustaining.
As well as always considering diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ), my teaching stems from the acronym EMPOWER - I created this when trying to summarise my core values as an educator. It provides a compass to remain true to my beliefs around learning.
E - ETHICS: I want to encourage upstanding individuals who have a care for the ecosystem around them, including both living and nonliving beings. No human is illegal. Science is real. Love is love. Kindness is everything.
M - METACOGNITION: by promoting the understanding of learning, I hope to enhance the experience of personal development intentionally. Encouraging learners to 'hack' their brains leads to the most effective learning.
P - PERSONALISATION: every individual is just that - individual. The same approach from last year's cohort might not suit this year's so I aim to ensure my lessons address relevant needs. Whatever cultural backgrounds make up our community, I aim to explicitly value and celebrate them all.
O - OWNERSHIP: I have delivered teacher-training on student choice and voice, and always strive to ensure this is one of the core features of my teaching. When we feel like we are in the driving seat of our own development, we are so much more effective at reaching our goals.
W - WAYS OF LEARNING: I am not married to any one approach, but rather collaborate with my learners to find out what will best work for them. While I promote enquiry-learning, such as PBL, through my lessons in order to encourage critical thinking, direct instruction (in short bursts) also has a place in my toolkit. I take each approach on its merit and suitability for the learning we are trying to achieve. My lessons are infused with critical literacy wherever possible.
E - EMPOWERMENT: in all my teaching, I want learners - whether adult, teens or children to come away feeling they have been given the confidence, strength, knowledge and skills to move forward in their learning journeys. I want to make myself redundant by coaching independent, resourceful and thoughtful learners who know how to achieve their goals.
R - RIGOUR: I believe that enjoyable learning experiences do not have to be 'fluff' - learning itself is fun! Therefore, I do not shy away from challenging my students to reach ever higher, ensuring they are supported in their goals.
What else??> I fill my inbox with blog subscriptions related to everything DEIJ; sustainability & permaculture; the (critically discerning) use of technology; metacognition; student choice & voice; the Flat Classroom; 21st Century skills; PBL; and secondary school teaching.
My qualifications have come from my love of learning and always wanting to find the next challenge. Among the most relevant to my day-to-day teaching and resource writing are Google Education Trainer; Flat Classroom Certificate; Flat Classroom Certificate; and Project-Based Learning Certificate (by PBLU from the Buck Institute of Education).
I write PD and teaching resources for a number of publishers including Heinemann's Digital Campus, Teachit and ZigZag Education.
I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to present regularly at various conferences including 21st Century Learning, Teachers Teaching Teachers, Google Apps for Education events and the Global Education Conference.
When I have time, I am an examiner for various boards. This has included Cambridge Young Learner exams, GCSE, A Level and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
I also facilitate student presenters at conferences such as Learning2; it's an honour to help them get their voices heard.
The best honour or award I've had? The 'Thank you!' from my learners at the end of a lesson.
I graduated from the University of Liverpool with a BA in English & Philosophy. From there, I went on to secure my masters in Education (Applied Linguistics), and the UK's national teacher qualification - the PGCE - in English & Drama.
Along the way, I also gained my Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English Language to Adults and Young Learners. I'm currently studying for my doctorate in education through Bath University in the UK (with a focus on DEIJ and culturally-sustaining pedagogy) and teaching in Asia.
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