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Emma Wyatt: It’s never too late to learn new things.

Emma Wyatt: It’s never too late to learn new things.

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

I’ve been teaching for nearly 11 years and have taught so many students of different ages, levels, and from different backgrounds with different goals for their English. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching in several countries, including multi-lingual classes in the UK. I’ve been in Central Europe for nearly 8 years now so I’d say I have a pretty good idea of the difficulties which affect Slavic speakers from the crossover with their first language.

Since completing the Coaching Practitioner Course at The Bridge, and the experience I’ve gained from being a language coach, I’ve also gotten better at helping students identify the small and manageable steps needed in order to continue to improve and get where they ultimately want to go. At the same time, aiding students in finding and maintaining their motivation to learn as they see the progress they’re making and recognise that they can achieve what they want no matter how challenging it might seem to begin with.

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

I’ve had some amazing colleagues at previous language schools I’ve worked at, and some great employers too. However, eventually I’d feel that there was something missing and I’d end up moving on. What I’ve realised is that, ultimately, my core values didn’t match up with those of the places where I was working previously. Now that I know and understand my own core values, I can better make sure that they are a part of my daily working life, making me feel more satisfied and happier.

My workshop aims to help participants identify their core values, what motivates them and keeps them getting up in the morning to do their job, including what brought them to teaching and education in the first place. They’ll then discuss how to make sure those core values continue to be a part of their day-to-day work so as to help them continue to enjoy what they do.

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

It’s hard to think of one defining moment in my teaching career so far. I think what’s made my job so fulfilling for me isn’t the big moments, but the small ones; seeing a student suddenly understand something they struggled with previously, when they use a new word/phrase/grammar structure correctly for the first time and seeing their facial expression change from uncertainty as they try it, to happiness as they realise they got it right, and recognising my own improvement in my abilities as a teacher.

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

Again, it’s so hard to identify one significant influence. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of working with some incredible teachers and for some inspiring bosses/directors. The willingness of colleagues to help me as a new teacher, providing materials and explaining activities, the encouragement of directors to try new things and support me in exploring new aspects of a career in education, the opportunities I’ve had that I never imagined were a part of TEFL teaching when I first applied for my CELTA course, and, of course, the friend who pushed me to apply for the course in the first place. All of these things have been vital to my professional journey.

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

I think my own openness and willingness to try new things, start new hobbies, meet new people, etc. have helped me support students in doing the same with their English. It’s never too late to learn anything and I try to live that myself, not always perfectly of course, but I want to keep moving forward in my own life and I hope that comes across in my teaching.

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