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EC Vancouver Teacher Spotlight: Marc Simao

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Background information:

Born in Saint John, NB, grew up in Montreal, moved to Edmonton, escaped to Vancouver.

Years spent teaching: 7

What made you decide to become a teacher?

I love helping people learn. I had always wanted to be a teacher but spent much of my early professional life in communications.

What’s the thing you love most about teaching English at EC?

Learning about other cultures and imparting my culture to others. The fun environment and the excellent resources.

What makes teaching at EC so special?

The school is truly one of the best language schools. EC Vancouver is professional, gives students a quality teaching environment, and allows teachers to focus on what they do best: dancing, I mean teaching.

What’s one thing you’ve learned from a student that really stands out?

I’ve learned a lot from my students but one thing that sticks out is that no matter where a student is from, he or she wants to be heard, valued and cared about. Whatever cultural differences students have, as humans we all share some common aspirations and feelings.

What is your favourite story about a student/teaching?

I had a student who had been singled out in her country by her peers in school for being a lesbian. She told me that studying at EC was the first time that she had truly felt accepted, and that the openness and positivity of the school, its teachers and her fellow students had given her the courage to pursue her dreams and to be more outspoken and proud of who she was. I really felt that I had had a hand in helping someone in a profound way.

What do you think makes a good teacher?

A good teacher needs to be a mentor, a listener, a manager of different personalities and cultures. A good teacher takes interest in his or her students and cares about their progress in their studies but also in their lives. A good teacher refuses to be a pushover but has an understanding of the reasons why a student may be late, absent, or sleepy. A good teacher refuses to write off the worst students and offers to wipe the slate clean to re-motivate students who have lost their motivation.

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