A reflection on where I’ve been

I’ve been in the education industry professionally for six years, and am still very young at it. I admit there are many things that I cannot do and I strive every day in my teaching career to improve the way I teach and to innovate the way that lessons are conducted in my classroom.

Nearly ten years ago, I was on a road trip with my good friend Dennis when he asked me, “If you could have any career in the whole world, and money didn’t matter, what would you do?” I replied, “That’s easy, I’d be a teacher.” The magnitude of my response didn’t hit me until months later, and I decided to go back to school for a Masters degree.

In 2010, I packed up my things (thanks to the same friend), and moved half-way across the world to Bangkok, Thailand, where I had my first hands-on training into teaching English through the CELTA program (By the way, I highly recommend getting a CELTA, and not just the TEFL, for those of you reading this who are considering doing the same). The CELTA illuminated my mind into the rigorosity of pedagogy and lesson planning, and why it is important to be meticulous in such matters.

I taught for a couple of years in Bangkok then moved to Hat Yai where I started working in an International School. I started as an ICT teacher, but quickly moved to a Primary Science position, then eventually became the Year 4 Class Teacher (what a dynamic change!). This school taught helped me fall in love with the Primary age group and I learned how to deliver effective lessons to younger children.

I should like to make a side note at this time to say that nearly all of my learning in my life has been through direct hands-on experience. I’ve hardly had any chance to explore what I actually learned in university, save for all of the underlying inter-disciplinary lessons, such as character building, socializing, etc. Even my own teaching of technology comes from me getting my hands dirty on a computer and just learning how to program and make the computer do what I need it to do. This is the best way to learn, if you ask me – getting your hands into what it is that you’re doing and learning through trial and error. This is the learning that we should be supporting in our schools and this is how we will be successful in our teaching.

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