Staff Spotlight: Nahal Hale

Local Center Administrator


Nahal was born and raised in Iran and came to the US to finish her college education. She has a Master's in Chemical Engineering and has worked in Silicon Valley and for Microsoft in Seattle.

Nahal studied English as a Second Language from Kindergarten to college, and started studying French on her own with a private tutor and continued for several years. She also speaks some Japanese from one year of living in Tokyo, and some Arabic from studying the Koran in elementary school and from the connections with her own Farsi language. Her love of languages culminated in her decision to take the CELTA course at Teaching House New York, and she later became a Local Center Administrator and managed satellite centers in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Learning the business side of running an ESL teacher training school has provided Nahal an opportunity to be in direct contact with candidates from their first inquiry to their graduation, and gives her the opportunity to witness their success stories on blogs and social media -- an experience she finds incredibly rewarding.

What is your favorite travel memory?

During my last visit to my home country of Iran, my brother and I ventured off to one of Tehran's busiest squares and bazaars - Tajrish. There we found a small ice cream store selling my most favorite dessert of all time, "paaloodeh shiraz" or Persian noodle dessert. This is an unusual dessert made with vermicelli-sized noodles, mixed in a semi-frozen syrup made from sugar and rose water that is similar to a sorbet, often served with lime juice.

Eating it always reminds me of walking outside on a warm summer night in my birth city Shiraz. This store's paaloodeh shiarzi was one of the best I had had in a long time! As I sat at the cafe eating paaloodeh, I reminisced about the great memories of my childhood and travels to my birth city. It is amazing how a specific taste can trigger a great number of memories and past experiences!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I communicate daily with many people from around the world on various media such as snap engage, phone and email, who are interested in taking the CELTA course or English classes. I have learned to be patient and meticulous in answering their questions with the recognition that they may be communicating from a different culture with a very different background.

I strive to be completely present with the person on the other side and give them 110% of my attention in order to address all their questions. I realize that many people might be making life-changing decisions by taking the CELTA course and starting on a new path. Therefore, I make sure they have the most accurate and timely information.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

We have a very loyal ESL student from China, Shi Hua, who registers for every ESL class and has been returning for 2+ years. He is a Chinese immigrant here in New York City. When his wife passed away, he started taking classes with us as part of the teaching practice English lessons of the CELTA Certification program.

We have been a stable reference point for him, always welcoming him to our classes. I feel he is not only improving his knowledge of the English language, but also making new friends and having an enjoyable pastime. At first, Shi Hua was shy to participate in end of course parties but now he is one of the first ones at the party and shares delicious treats from China with all the other students.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would love to travel to the various locations and centers to train new employees. Not only would I become familiar with our other locations first hand, but I would also enjoy meeting my colleagues in person. I would especially enjoy visiting London, Oxford, and Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Each center/city offers a unique experience for the students, both with their location and their personnel. For me personally, it would be wonderful to put a face to the voice of those I work with on a daily basis.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Doing whatever it takes to make sure the trainees have the best CELTA training experience and that the ESL students learn and improve their knowledge of the English language. Our trainers bring a vast experience of teaching abroad to their classrooms which is greatly appreciated by the trainees.

Whenever one of our graduates calls, writes, or stops by to tell us of their great adventure as an ESL teacher, I feel proud and happy.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

A successful company continues to strive to be the best in their field. There is a collaborative and inclusive environment where ideas and suggestions are taken into consideration and everyone is encouraged to have fun while getting the job done.

At Teaching House we take our graduates' feedback very seriously. We read and address each of the reviews with the goal to be best in class in the teacher training industry.