Teacher Experience by Leisa Besson

In September 2014, my husband, two teenage sons and I left Australia with the intention to sail a yacht across the Atlantic. When we arrived in Malta to pick up the boat, we accepted the offer to stay in a friend’s apartment in Gozo to relax for a while before setting off. We completely fell in love with the island so when circumstances beyond our control forced us to put our planned sailing adventure across the Atlantic on hold we chose to settle in Gozo.

After a year living in a 600-year-old mill house in Victoria (like living in a Game of Thrones set) and home schooling my teenage boys (a crazy idea), the boys decided to head back Down Under. We were now empty nesters and I was in need of a new challenge.
I decided to complete my CELTA training at IELS Sliema (the most intense month of my life) and after 8 weeks of teaching with IELS and commuting to Malta from Gozo daily by ferry I was quite relieved to be offered a position at their school on Gozo.

These past couple of years teaching at the Gozo School have been some of the most enjoyable and rewarding in my life. The diverse ages and nationalities of the students make the classes dynamic and sometimes unpredictable and as a teacher this constant evolution keeps me on my toes.

Due to the small size of the school, the teachers and students quickly form a close bond that makes for a very relaxed learning environment. The students can stay at the school residence, sharing kitchens and living areas (great for parties!) and forming friendships that will last a lifetime.
Language is never a barrier for my students as they all soon adapt to each other’s level. The empathy and patience shown by the students is so refreshing in a world where these two human compassions are rarely seen.

Let’s not forget the fun we have. I love to take my students out to the real world and put their English to the test.
One of my favourite classes is at a local Restaurant that has its own Bocci pitch where the local Gozitan gentlemen are only too happy to instruct the students in the finer points of the game. Needless to say lots of hilarity occurs.

Unfortunately, I have had to leave my beautiful island home for more adventures (teenage boys requiring mothering) but Gozo and the IELS School will always have a very special place in my heart and I know I will return one day.