1. Introduce yourself in a few words.
Hello. My name is Bruce Oberon. I got my BA in English at UC Santa Barbara and have been teaching ESL for a bit over 8 years now. I’ve been with EC since the end of 2018.
2. What’s your favorite skill to teach?
I love teaching grammar as well as vocabulary, especially more informal vocabulary. But if I had to choose one skill in particular it would probably be phrasal verbs since they’re a good combination of both! And they’re so darn useful!
3. What’s the hardest part about being a teacher?
Maybe the hardest part about being a teacher is the pressure to be in the students’ good graces. Students seem to often talk rather openly about who their favorite teachers are and who they think are the best teachers. I think this reflects the need for a teacher to be motivated and motivating, as well as dynamic, interesting, entertaining, knowledgeable, etc. We’re all together in the same room for four hours, day in and day out, so we as teachers must be able to capture and hold each student’s attention at all times! However, I do think there is something to be said for the boring teacher who gets the job done, as well as for students who are self-motivated, regardless of the teacher.
4. What’s your favourite “success story”?
I can’t take credit for the real success stories. As mentioned above, the best students are those who are self-motivated, and it’s really awesome to be a part of that. They do well with any teacher, because in a sense they are their own teachers and understand that they are responsible for their own progress. When these students take their education into their own hands you see them improve really quickly. It’s amazing to see, and of course the teacher plays a role in that, which is really rewarding, but more than anything I’m just happy for the students who were able to reach their goals after so much hard work.
5. What’s the best advice you’ve been given about teaching?
I’ve never taken this advice but I hear quite regularly that I should “play Hangman” with my students. Some shoes may be too big to fill after all.
6. What’s the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you in the classroom?
There have been some embarrassing moments using Google Images in the past.
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