David is one of our fantastic teachers at E2 English.
Before working at E2, David previously worked for a range of online education companies focused on teaching English as a second language. David has a BA, Dip Ed, Cert TEFL and a Master of TESOL.
Below, we asked him a few questions about two of his big passions in life: Theatre and teaching.
As a teacher, what did you learn from your years teaching in high schools?
I’ve taught and worked for over 30 years in private and state schools around Australia and New Zealand. Through this experience, I’ve learned about the diversity of cultures, abilities, privileges, and poverty. I know that education improves lives and I’ve been lucky enough to have met thousands of students of all ages in classrooms, and now thousands of students online.
English as a lingua franca (meaning, the common language of communication) has replaced my University Theatre obsession with the search for a universal language. The English language pragmatically allows people from diverse backgrounds to share their common human experiences, access travel, and education.
I became a secondary school teacher at the time of the digital revolution, and have adapted my methods to the new environment of education technology, adapting resources, hardware, and software to reach the largest number of students efficiently from a virtual classroom. My classroom can now be located wherever I am– as is the case for all E2Language teachers!
How did your time with Scott Thornbury inspire you to teach?
When I adventured over to Spain after working as an actor in Tasmania, I was very lucky to meet Scott Thornbury at the International House in Barcelona, and he became my first ESL teacher. I studied with him and learned the gentle teachers’ art of “eliciting”. This remains a key concept in student-centred learning. I greatly admire how he makes teaching and learning accessible and he will always be one of the great teachers of teachers. Scott knows his subject thoroughly, how learning happens, and he cares about people and language.
How did you first become acquainted with the idea of digital learning?
I first became acquainted with digital learning when I was teaching at a remote area school in NSW in 2005. The outdoor education bush school was located 4 hours from the school’s main campus in Sydney, and I supervised the Latin and French classes that were taught from the main campus to a common screen (which was later replaced by student laptops!).
I also taught English in a mainstream school, and here I was able to establish the “connected classroom”, connecting my students to professionals located several hours away.
I took on the role of head of technology in the schools’ English department, encouraging the purchase of short-throw projectors and online literacy and spelling software to assist with the teaching of spelling, reading and writing in the school with measurable success. Viva la digital revolution!
What aspect of your job do you enjoy most?
I really enjoy the autonomy of teaching online. It seems surreal sometimes, that I can connect with students from literally all around the world. It is creative, serves a need, and at E2, we have developed resources that are pioneering in this area. I am very fortunate to work with colleagues, who are determined, passionate and caring, as well as edgy and funny. We have a truly great team here at E2.