The Founding Members
The Upskilling For Change Founding Members came together in September of 2021, united by a shared goal of improving our profession and thereby creating a more connected world.
We were ten teachers in total from Spain, Iraq, Scotland, Romania, Iran, Hungary, Algeria and England.
Initially, we started meeting once a month online to talk about the challenges we faced in our profession. These ranged from discrimination against second-language English teachers from employers and sometimes learners, to more practical issues in the classroom such as how to adapt learner materials to be more culturally appropriate.
We shared experiences, asked questions, and supported each other however we could.
We began holding skill-share meetings on specific topics in order to pool all of the knowledge we had in the group so that we could benefit from each other’s expertise and experience.
We started swapping languages, using each other as resources for learning and practising English, Spanish, and Arabic.
We invited guests to speak to us on issues we found useful such as teaching learners with ADHD and autism.
And we shared lesson materials and (with learners’ consent) recorded classes in order to inspire each other, and gain feedback on our teaching.
Soon we realised both the strength and potential that our varied experiences and contexts held. Our strength was in our difference, and the potential was in our passion for connection. We decided it was time to reach out and expand our community, and that’s when - a year later - the Global Staffroom was born.
Now we are a large community of educators from all over the world. Within this community we run mentoring projects, monthly networking and idea-sharing sessions, skill-shares on specific topics, guest-speaker events, programmes for learners, a YouTube channel and materials for learners, a podcast, and much more to come!
Watch this space!
SARA | ARDABIL, IRAN
Sara is TESOL-certified with 19+ years experience teaching General English at high school, university, and in her own English school, which she established in 2004. She has trained hundreds of teachers and helped break some taboos in her region related to English-learning.
She holds an MA in English Language Translation and speaks Persian, English and Azeri and is a B1 Turkish learner. She believes that consistency is the key to success.