STAFF SPOTLIGHT: RACHEL ON MAKING CONNECTIONS AND DEFENDING EDUCATION

Meet English teacher Rachel, whose passions for English and education brought her to CLC nearly five years ago, where she’s been teaching ever since—despite her initial plan to use teaching as a means to do anything but stick around Montreal.

When Rachel obtained her TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) certificate fresh out of university, she did so with visions of teaching abroad in mind.

“Teaching English seemed like a really good way to travel while also pursuing interests for English and education,” she said. “And it seemed like a natural fit after university to take a little bit of time off to travel.”

Now a fixture at CLC, Rachel is proof that even the best laid plans can fall through, sometimes with even greater results.

“Even though I didn’t get to go abroad with [my certificate] yet, it still brought me to CLC, so I think it’s a net positive.”

When she’s not teaching or greeting students at the front desk here at CLC, Rachel enjoys relaxing in front of the TV, playing Dungeons & Dragons and speaking out about the causes she cares about; racism and access to education are big-ticket issues for her. The running theme of these passions is how they connect her to other people—allowing her to discuss TV programs with friends, meet new people through D&D or advocate for loved ones through her activism—and that’s a theme that’s evident in her approach to teaching. For Rachel, it’s all about connecting with students.

Rachel said that what’s kept her around CLC is philosophy of learning, which mirrors that of a tutoring program she was previously involved with that catered to high school students with learning disabilities.

“When I first came to CLC, what really drew me to it is the student-centered approach and the approach to learning that we take here,” she said. “The philosophy matched really closely with the tutoring program that I was doing at that time. So it seemed like if that program was a language school, that’s what it would look like.”

Rachel still has big plans to travel—Korea and Macchu Pichu are high on her list—but for now, she’s happy with where she’s ended up.

“It’s pretty much the best conditions you’ll find in teaching ESL.”

 

– By Holly Tousignant