Hi, I’m Jennie. I’m a specialist ESL teacher, and founder of Happy English UK. I love getting to know my students, and hearing their stories. Here’s a little bit about me and my journey so far; I would love to read about you too, in the comments below!
As a child, I always wanted to be a teacher. I would enjoy playing schools with my dolls and teddy bears, and my family whenever they would play. As I grew older, I realised that I also loved learning new languages and learning about other cultures. I took a job working in a nursery with babies, which I loved, and began saving money to travel.
In 2005 I travelled to Sri Lanka, Ghana and South Africa, where I taught English and ran an English learning Summer Camp for underprivileged children, cared for orphaned elephants, worked in a zoo, and even hand raised lion cubs.What an experience!
In between all the working hours, I also travelled around the countries I was staying in. I trekked through the African bush in search of wild elephants, swam under waterfalls in the tropical forests of Sri Lanka, Scuba-dived with whale sharks and turtles, watched the “Big 5” in the famous Kruger National Park, cage-dived with Great White Sharks and even completed a sky dive from 9,000 feet.
When I returned home in December 2005, I had the travelling bug! I booked another trip, this time to China and Hong Kong, in 2006.
While I was there, I travelled with a group from Beijing down to Hong Kong, using the public transport and exploring the amazing culture along the way. I walked part of the Great Wall of China, was stunned by the beauty of the Terracotta Army, walked the beautiful city walls of Xi’an, hiked through breath-taking scenery in the mountains and saw pandas in Chengdu. I didn’t want to leave, but after a month I flew home to book my next adventure.
Trips after 2006 have stayed closer to home, as I settled down and started my family. Chris and I were married in 2011, and Molly completed our family in 2012. My step-children Joe and Danielle have since grown up and left home to live with their own families, but they still live near-by and we see them often. During these years I worked as a teaching assistant and language teacher across many schools and nurseries. Later, I began working for the UK Environment Agency dealing with recycling exports and coaching adults in the workplace.
But now that I was settled at home and Molly was starting school, it was time to follow my other passion and train as a teacher here in the UK. I already had a very good degree in English Literature, so I completed further training to qualify as a Primary school teacher. It was a tough but exciting course, and I loved the on the job elements of the training. Working with very young children meant that I began to specialise in teaching early reading skills and phonics in my classes. I later began tutoring students in the evenings, specialising in reading and phonics tuition.
It was through my evening tutoring work that I then discovered the world of online teaching! The fast development of technology and its use for online learning was so exciting to me. I began working as an online tutor and soon found that I was able to combine my love of teaching with my passion for learning about other cultures and my love of chatting with friends: my dream job!
As I thought about the best name for my new company, the same word kept coming to my mind: happy. I am so happy to have found a job that I love and that so perfectly matches my skills. In my classes I’m always happy because I feel so lucky, and so my students begin to feel happy and confident too.
And that is how Happy English UK was born!
Is there anything else you would like to know about Teacher Jennie? Do you have any questions you would like to ask? Have you ever travelled somewhere exciting or had an amazing, happy experience you can share with us?
We’d love to hear your stories! Let us know in the comments below.