This article is part of a series of posts highlighting our community of teachers around the world. We hope you find their stories interesting and inspiring!
Fernando Varaschin has been teaching English on and off since 2012.
Currently, he’s a full-time educator at Phil Young’s English School in Curitiba, Brazil, where he teaches pre-teens at the intermediate level as well as high school students and adults at the advanced level.
Fernando mostly teaches classes in person, but he also has two online classes as well as a private student.
“I was never a great student,” admitted Fernando. “I had learning difficulties, and I had always thought that most of my teachers were not patient enough and that they assumed everyone learned the same way. I wanted to change that."
Fernando explained that he wanted to be a teacher who respected students’ limitations and who taught different subjects using a step-by-step process—beginning with the simplest concepts before slowly building up to larger ones.
For Fernando, a typical day of teaching can start anywhere from 5:00 am to 7:00 am and can end as late as 10:00 pm.
He begins each day by checking his schedule to make sure he’s prepared for each class, and he always arrives 15–30 minutes early to set up his classroom. In between class time, he plans upcoming lessons, marks tests and assignments, talks to parents, and attends meetings.
His day also involves driving between the four Curitiba branches of Phil Young’s English School since he teaches at all of them.
How Fernando uses Ellii with his English learners
Fernando uses Ellii to complement the school’s required material.
“Ellii fits in like a glove,” he said. “I have the lessons printed out for my in-person students. Sometimes, I blow [the lesson] up on the digital board so that we can work hands-free. I try to vary as much as I can so that I have a more dynamic class. But [Ellii]’s always there and it works perfectly . . . we need reliable material so that we can provide our students with nothing but the best.”
With Fernando’s private students, he has them pick the Ellii lessons they’re interested in.
“I browse through the site mirroring it on Google Meet so that they can choose the topics they're interested in," he said. "The only thing I do is pick the grammar topics.”
Overcoming the challenges of teaching
For Fernando, the most challenging part about teaching a big class is giving each student enough attention.
“As a teacher, I try my best to encompass everyone and make sure that everybody gets the same amount of attention," he said. "Although, that's a hard thing to do given that sometimes students are not exactly at the level that they're supposed to be. . . . as a teacher trainer at our school once said, 'How can I bring that one student out from the shadows?' In other words, how can I get him or her to participate more?”
Despite the challenges, Fernando loves being a teacher.
“I love what I do and I intend to continue to do it for as long as I can. I’m always looking to get better and better at it.”
His advice for aspiring teachers?
"Be patient with your students and keep in mind that different people learn in different ways.”
Want the chance to be featured in our Teacher Feature series? Visit our 20th Anniversary Giveaway blog post to tell us why you love Ellii and how you use it in your classroom.