Transferring my skills to teaching

Published 1 February 2020
By Will Fordham

I decided to train as an English teacher after working in various communication roles as a civil servant. Before enrolling on a salaried teacher training course, I completed a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) qualification at Cambridge University, so I could teach English as a second language. I spent 2 years teaching English in Italy before returning to another communications job.

When I decided to move back to London from East Anglia, I wanted to be able to start working and have the money to support my move. That was my main objective, to be paid to train. I think financing myself through the training year could have been difficult, having lived abroad and come back to a job in the UK.

In my previous career I was creating, processing and presenting information to different audiences, which is essentially what I’m doing now as a teacher.

I really enjoy revisiting all the books I once studied as a student, and find it invigorating to be able to look at them with a fresh perspective. When teaching ‘The Canterbury Tales’, there’s one character who carries a dog around in her bag – so I make the connection with those Hollywood actresses that carry small dogs around in their handbags. I find I can have a lot of fun in lessons, and really show what it is I’m enthusiastic about within a particular text. It’s fantastic!

You have to think on your feet a lot. Being able to adapt really helps when you’re faced with 30 students who all have very different personalities and learning needs and when you’re making the sort of impact I’ve experienced, there’s nothing better.

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