“To be a successful teacher, you can't count on the education you've received to give you all you need to know.” - Kenneth Myers
Kenneth Myers is currently working in Termez, Surxondaryo as an ESN Coach to strengthen teacher-training practices and build local language teachers’ English skills and teaching competencies. We asked Kenneth a few questions about his background, motivation for teaching, and interests in Uzbekistan. Kenneth shared his insights, ideas, and opinions with us, highlighting his thinking and teaching philosophy.
What motivated you to work in education, either as a teacher or a teacher trainer?
I've always been fascinated with language and culture, and teaching the English language has given me the opportunity to do what I love: to explore other countries and learn about people.
What do you think is the most important factor or skill for teachers to work toward in their professional development?
I think that people's development needs are different, and that different skills and factors should be prioritized by different people. In the Philippines, I think that professional development activities were most useful and successful when they caused teachers to take initiative and think creatively about their own professional success, and create their own strategies.
What advice or recommendation would you make to young teachers who are just starting their careers?
Take a look at masterful language-learning content being produced on YouTube. YouTube offers stiff competition to the modern language teacher, but it can also be an incredible resource and a reservoir of effective practices and great ideas. The channel Be Fluent in Russian (an English-mediated Russian language learning channel for intermediate learners), for example, is an inspiring look at what the lecture portion of a communicative class could look like.
What are your personal/professional goals that you hope to accomplish while you are an ESN Coach in Uzbekistan?
I hope to learn from the strengths of my Uzbek counterparts and become an effective teacher to this new, exciting student population. I'm also excited about broadening my experience in teacher training, and learning the Uzbek language!
What is the most interesting/surprising thing you have experienced or learned about Uzbekistan so far?
Uzbekistan is full of surprises, and the historical mixture of cultures makes it a place where strange impossible things are commonplace. Did you know that when the Tang Chinese invaded the area of Surxondaryo, they found people who still spoke Greek, leftover from Alexander's conquests?
To learn more about ESN Coach Kenneth Myers and his dynamic teaching background, his full bio may be found here: https://www.esn-teachers.org/users/kmyers.