Stephanie has been teaching since 2001 in a variety of contexts. She became a CELTA trainer and Delta Modules tutor and now helps run the world's largest provider of Cambridge teacher training courses.
What is your favorite travel memory?
I have so many, it is very difficult to say. One popping to mind at the moment was my relationship with "the noodle lady" and the xe om (motorbike taxi) driver I used regularly in Vietnam.
They were always stationed at a corner near my home and I saw them almost every day. And although we couldn't communicate - because my Vietnamese is THAT bad - we had a friendly rapport.
I was away freelancing for several months and the morning after my return, on my way to work, I walked up to the noodle lady. She was so excited to see me, she refused to take money for my breakfast. Then as we were speaking, the xe om driver pulled up, offering me my usual ride to work.
I haven't been back there in a few years, but if I do ever visit, it would mean the world to me to see those two again. They were a delightful start to each of my workdays. The noodles so delicious and the ride safe!
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
Well, my role is primarily administrative, so I'm removed from much of the excitement of classrooms, so it's been a transition for me in that sense.
Also, learning to run a company and negotiate the requirements and preferences of all the different stakeholders (students, candidates, trainers, administrators, and executives) is an ongoing challenge. That's what keeps the work interesting and it's a skill I continue to develop.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
Luckily, I hear from our former trainees from time-to-time; many of whom begin working very shortly after their CELTA course is finished.
I suppose the best stories are the ones where teachers who qualify with Teaching House are honored by the schools where they are employed. Also, it's a point of pride when people I've trained on the CELTA go on to do the Delta and become CELTA Trainers themselves.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
There are so many good destinations to choose from! I'd be very interested in going to Melbourne. I've never been to Australia and I've heard that Melbourne is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Also, I've never been to sub-Saharan Africa, so I would also relish the opportunity to do the course in Cape Town.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
We are unique in that we run courses all over the world. We have a small but powerful team that manages to organize courses - often in places they've never been!
I'm especially proud of our team when there is a start date with hundreds of candidates starting in 7/8 cities simultaneously and everyone shows up where they are supposed to be. And when I look at the roster at the end of each year - more than 1,000 teachers trained, more than 2,000 ESL students receiving English language courses all orchestrated by a team of 7 administrators and 12 trainers - I feel really proud. And so very lucky to be a part of it all.