I've been an English teachers for over 15 years now and I love what I do. It took me many years to realise what age group I like working with the most: kids and pre-teens. It also took me some time to realise how much I dislike testing, grading and useless paperwork, in other words, all the things that stop me from doing what I am supposed to be doing: being with my students. This is why I work at a Montessori school.
There are two quotes from Maria Montessori that sum up exactly what I do and what I strive for:
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher...is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."
"The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult."
The moments I can drink coffee and just watch my students working away, not needing me, are my favourite. This is why I plan my lessons in a way that limits my involvement to the absolute minimum. This is also why I create materials which allow students to check and correct their own mistakes.
I'm also a strong supporter of the growth mindset theory, which claims that you can learn anything if you don't give up, believe in yourself and persevere when it gets tough. I explicitly teach that to my students. They know all about neurons and connections between them and about their brains being like a muscle that gets stronger with practice.
I want to make my students as independent as humanly possible, so on top of teaching the English language, I teach them how to study languages in general and how to look for information.
And for those of you who'd like to know: I studied Early Years Education with TEFL at Gdansk University for 3 years. After getting my Bachelor's degree, I went on to study English Philology for another 5 years, graduating with a Master's degree. The final mark on my diploma says "Excellent" :) Recently, I have also completed a Montessori and autonomous language learning based training course for teachers of second languages at Montessori Stiftung Berlin. I'm also an AMI certified Montessori 6 -12 Assistant.