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The story behind The English Classroom

A free professional blog to support English teachers

Jennifer Gardner. Found of The English Classroom

 

I have always considered myself a privileged person and I have always been lucky in life.

Maybe this isn't what you expect from an entrepreneur's story? They usually triumph over tragedy or difficulty to become amazing and inspiring people, but not me. I’ve always been fortunate. 

 

Why am I telling you this?

Because unlike most privileged people, I recognise how lucky I am. I understood this from a very early age. Even sitting in my fee-paying private school in a safe and prosperous country at 12 years old, I knew this. So, when I turned 19 I decided to join the Police Force. I wanted to step out of the safe bubble that I had grown up in and experience life. I worked for the West Midlands Police in my home city of Coventry, UK, as a volunteer on evenings and weekends with the same powers and responsibilities as a regular Police Officer. After graduating from university, I worked as a teacher during the day and a Police Officer at night.

 

One day, I was standing in the police station looking at the pinboard in the office. The pinboard had photos of vulnerable people who were known to the police, and who I worked with regularly. I got to know some of them by name. However, I noticed that photos slowly started to go missing; they were there one day and gone the next. These were often young women from the same city as me, the same age as me, sometimes even the same name as me, who had gone missing - presumed dead. And I realised in one pivotal moment, that the only difference between me and them was that I had opportunities in life and they did not.

 

In hind-sight, working as a teacher and a Police Officer in my early twenties was perhaps too intense as I decided to leave my career and travel. There must be more out there somewhere, I thought. Whilst travelling, I met an amazing array of kind and interesting people, spanning cultures, languages, and backgrounds. It was a common theme that they all wanted to practice their English with me and I often obliged. Learning English gave these people opportunities and this was my ‘light bulb moment’. I knew I must use the opportunities that I have been given in life to create opportunities for others. 

 

How?

The English Classroom offers opportunities to students to access a quality education, who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to receive one. 

 

The English Classroom offers opportunities for teachers to become better educators. These teachers already inspire and support students every day but they have not had the opportunity to go to training or learn English themselves. I give them the tools they need.

I offer opportunities to students - to the future engineers, innovators, and philosophers of the world so that they can learn English to connect with others on a global scale, creating positive futures for themselves.

And I offer opportunities to societies; opportunities to grow economically, to improve equality, and to create sustainable futures for the next generations.

 

The English Classroom. Made for teachers.

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Written by Jennifer Gardner

Found of The English Classroom

 

 

 

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