I trained as school teacher in the UK in the 80s, but rather than teaching, I took up a job as a careers counsellor in N.E London. After doing this for 5 years, I had enough experience to realise that I was in the wrong job, and I advised myself to move to Hong Kong, where I worked for the British Council teaching English to office workers and eating a lot of noodles.
My travels then took me to Sydney where I worked for most of the city’s English language schools, to earn enough money to get back to England before my visa ran out (again).
Arriving back in the UK, my first instinct was to apply for emigration to Australia. This took a number of years, but it gave me the opportunity to do the Cambridge Delta and have my first son. I was lucky enough to get a job at Milner almost immediately after arriving in Perth. I’ve never looked back. Since then I’ve spent my time teaching English to all levels, and managing the Celta programme. I’m an assessor for ESOL Celta and I regularly work in the US, presenting the Celta course for Teaching House. In the last few years I’ve worked in NYC, Chicago, Boston, Portland, Phoenix, and later this year in Philadelphia and Denver, Colorado. I’ve also trained teachers in the UK and Vietnam.
My favourite part of the job is watching young, and not so young, people from all parts of the world and different cultures finding how much they have in common, and discovering how much more unites people, than divides them.
Favourite country so far has got to be Australia – for me the most civilised country in the world and a paradigm for other countries to follow.
In class I once had a female Korean student pointing out that my zip was undone by asking me whether I needed fresh air. I was writing on the board at the time and she kept calling, “Ric, are you sure you’re not too hot” – till the penny dropped!
I originally trained as a secondary school teacher in Business and English. After working at various places, I realised that my passion lay with ESL and this led me to doing further studies in this area, namely a Graduate Diploma of Art (Language Studies) and then a Masters of Arts (Applied Linguistics).
At the time of my studies I was lucky enough to find employment at Milner in 1994 and have been here ever since, leaving for a short time to raise my family. I’ve taught a variety of levels and Cambridge classes. I am also fortunate to be a member of our amazing teacher training team and teach on the CELTA course as well as the TESOL course.
My favourite part of this job is without a doubt the people I work with and the students. There have been so many funny stories and it’s lovely to see enduring friendships being formed. As my father is from Singapore, I love anywhere in South-East Asia because of the food but am always being constantly surprised at how beautiful the Australian landscape is.
My favourite part of the job is meeting new people from different countries and cultures all over the world and helping them achieve their goals. Creating a fun, friendly and relaxed atmosphere in the classroom so students feel they can step into the spotlight and experiment with the language they are learning and make progress.
Choosing a favourite country I have travelled to is a tough choice, but probably Japan because it was my first home away from home and I made so many great friends there and had lots of amazing experiences…..and the food!!!! I really miss the food! Then again, I really miss Korean BBQ!
Years of teaching: At Milner for 7 years, abroad for 6 (Japan and Korea)
Certifications: CELTA, Bachelors degree in Chemistry, Honours degree in Polymer Chemistry
I love the people and food of Thailand and Vietnam, the spectacular postcard prettiness of Switzerland, the romantic architecture of Colombia, Spain, Italy and France, the energy and abundance of the USA, the mind boggling experience of India and the land that gave me my career, England. …and there are so many countries beckoning.
Years of teaching: (gulp) 30
Certifications: BA, Dip Ed, RSA Dip, Grad Dip, CELTA Trainer
I have been teaching for 22 years, and as part of my job I organise sport activities every week at the College. The thing I love best is at the end of the day after we’ve been sailing, surfing, playing beach volleyball, soccer or whatever other activity, knowing people have had fun and made memories they’ll have forever.
My favourite place that holds a special place in my heart is Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania. The people are great, the fusion of past and present cultures and architecture is a delight and it had an airport i’ll always remember.
Qualifications: LLB, CTEFLA