To work or not to work, that is the question

Hear stories from Geoff on how he became a tutor, and the different people he has taught. ✍Geoff Hardcastle, GoLearn English Tutor

Geoff teaching

Hello, my name is Geoff Hardcastle, I am a GoLearn English Tutor and welcome to my blog. Apologies to The Bard and Hamlet for the blog title. However, having spent the majority of my teaching life as an English and Drama/Theatre tutor, it was quite a natural title for this particular blog. 

I started in Primary Education, moved onto Secondary and then, after an interview in a Leicestershire coffee shop, found myself transported to Hungary for 9 years, teaching in schools and university. On my return, I tried supply teaching for a few weeks, but it wasn't for me.

For the remaining years and up until now, I taught Functional English and as an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) English Tutor. It was within this latter structure that I was asked to take on a short, ten-week course entitled “Work Skills.” I did the first one in 2023 and have only just completed my second recently. The scheme of work covers such things as letters of application, forms, CVs and different kinds of interviews. The material allows me to adapt it to the levels of the students taking part. In my first year, I had 12 Ukrainians, the majority of whom spoke very good English and were highly qualified in their own specialist fields. For them, it was a question of coming to terms with the new vocabulary and relevant forms, in order to apply for similar posts in the UK. 

The second group was very different with refuges from Poland, Ukraine, Syria and Asia. The students were at very different levels of English and for some of them, it was simply trying to get a job, which would help them and their families settle in Leicestershire. 

There were no end of course exams to work towards, but as usual, they had to attend regularly and submit a relevant amount of work, to show a completion of targets. I created a certificate that they were presented with at the end of the course.  

I found it a most enjoyable ten weeks, in which I met a variety of students from different backgrounds and with different interests. They had a wide range of personal skills and qualities and listening to their “life journeys,” was thought provoking in itself. They were a pleasure to work with and I hope they felt the same. 

Thank you for reading this blog and I finish with another apology to W.S, but this time from Richard the Third…. 

“A job! A job! My kingdom for a job!” 

Geoff Hardcastle (English Tutor) 

Our adult learning programme is a great opportunity for people to improve their essential skills in areas such as languages, maths and digital skills. You can browse courses on the GoLearn website.

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