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Andrea Záhumenská: I believe that teaching can be an incredibly rewarding profession.

Andrea Záhumenská: I believe that teaching can be an incredibly rewarding profession.

Can you provide a brief overview of your background and expertise?

I have been teaching English for over twenty years and working with teachers for over twelve years. I am currently the Director of Studies at The Bridge. I hold a Trinity TESOL diploma and an EMCC accreditation for trainers.

What are the main takeaways or insights you aim to deliver during your talk, and how do you believe they will benefit the audience?   

This is a moderated discussion on motivation. As teachers we invest considerable time in nurturing our students, ensuring progress and enjoyment of lessons and constantly innovating to inspire and motivate students. But what and who motivates us? The teaching profession can be challenging and at times we may need encouragement.

My hope is to create a safe and supportive environment where teachers can feel comfortable to share their personal insights, challenges or successes as they relate to their teaching journey. I believe that the insights shared during the discussions have the potential to inspire and encourage teachers.

Can you recall a particularly memorable experience related to teaching or training that left a lasting impact on you?

There have been many. I remember a student who approached me after completing his course and told me how the lessons had helped change his life. He had found the courage to look for a new job abroad and was ready to take a significant step forward. Also during the coaching course in Zaježová last summer, many of the course participants were able to find solutions to their work or personal challenges. They left the course venue feeling inspired and empowered. It sounds like a cliché, but it is these moments that confirm the meaningful impact on our work.

Who or what has been a significant influence or inspiration in your professional journey?

I am fortunate to be surrounded by inspiring people, both professionally and in my personal life. I have had the privilege of working with elite teacher trainers such as Mike Shreeve and Philip Kerr who have taught me and inspired me a great deal. My colleagues at The Bridge are fantastic teachers who are passionate about their work, and the supportive community plays an important role in keeping us motivated. I believe teaching can be an incredibly rewarding profession.

Do you have any passion projects or hobbies that contribute to your broader understanding of teaching and learning?

Two years ago, I started learning Italian, and the process has become a powerful tool for fostering empathy and understanding in students. Engaging in the process of acquiring a new language as an adult has given me valuable insight into the challenges of learning a foreign language. It is a direct encounter with the cognitive barriers that adult learners face. I have the opportunity to practice what I preach to others.