Teachers’ Inspirational Stories: Why Do You Teach Helen Doron English?
Several Helen Doron English teachers have been interviewed on Helen Doron Radio. This post is based on the interview with Amal Abboud from Shfaram, Israel. It is first of a series of “Why do you teach Helen Doron English?”
I grew up in Canada and moved to Israel with my mother and siblings. After studying graphics and design, I was introduced to a Helen Doron English for kids lesson and immediately fell in love with the methodology and was so impressed by how quickly the children learn and how much fun they have!
I became a Helen Doron Early English teacher and after a couple of years became a Teacher Trainer. I also have the privilege of developing and writing materials with Helen. I have been working for Helen Doron English for 14 years. It is a way of life, not a job or even a career. I did NOT want to become an English teacher because of the way I saw it taught in schools. I travel a lot and speak to many teachers around the world. It isn’t the teachers’ fault, as so many of them are dedicated and devoted to their students. I think that large classes, the type of administration and the learning materials all contribute to less than ideal learning environment. When I saw how Helen Doron English is taught and how fulfilling it is for both the students and the teachers—that was it! I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
I have SO many inspirational stories about my students. Just one? Ok…My third year of teaching I opened a Learning Centre in Haifa and almost immediately I could feel I made a big difference in how children learn. I would hear stories from the mothers how their children are correcting their English teachers in school or how when they travel abroad their kids are the ones who ask directions and order food in restaurants, as their English was better as anyone else’s in the family.
One particular student of mine started in 5th grade after being kicked out of his English class in school for bad behaviour. He didn’t want to come to my class either, but I insisted he would enjoy himself and would give a lot more attention than he was used to, which isn’t hard to do as we only teach in very small groups.
He ended up loving the classes and enthusiastically learned with us for years. He graduated high school with very high grades in English and went on to university and did very well. I am still in contact with his mother and she always says if it wasn’t for me and the Helen Doron English methodology, his future would have been very different. This and many other examples remind me why I do what I do.
Now I travel around the world training new teachers to teach both Helen Doron Early English and Helen Doron Teen English. It’s always such an incredible experience to see the creativity of each new teacher and how they approach the methodology uniquely, each from their own perspective. It is so rewarding and we all stay in touch and exchange ideas. Everyone is also constantly updated through newsletters, trainings and conferences, which are all part of the Helen Doron support system.
I am so grateful for this opportunity!