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Teacher Feature: Poonam

January 7, 2022

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!

In 1999, Poonam, a teacher of 15 years, immigrated to Canada from India. She worked at a bank in Toronto for over eight years, often helping immigrants with their banking. As she realized how challenging the language barriers were, she decided to go back to teaching. She joined TESL in 2009 and has been an adult ESL instructor at the York Catholic District School Board since 2010.

“Every day in the class feels like a beautiful day of learning. It’s a treat to be in class with these learners who come from different walks of life and cultures, and the feeling of being a part of their family just makes me a better teacher and person.”

Although it was a bit overwhelming in the beginning, having to teach online during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a positive learning experience for Poonam.

“Learning new techniques of teaching, use of varied platforms, and educating my students on how to learn online has been a tremendous development. The support from my manager has always been continuous and forthcoming, and she has helped me overcome any hurdles and challenges in doing my job, in the past and now.”

Poonam has been a long-time member of ESL Library and is grateful for the support the platform provides.

“My heartfelt thanks to all the staff members and teachers of ESL Library for the wealth of resources and lessons that supplement my teaching. Thank you for working so hard to make teaching fun for me. My students love the exercises and lessons.”

Check out her text response below to learn more about why she loves ESL Library and how she uses it with her students.

As a dedicated teacher, Poonam strives to create a welcoming and relaxed space to learn.

“I try to create a positive and comfortable learning environment using real world tasks, peer teaching, and most of all, encouraging and applauding them every step of their progress. Also, I always tell them that it’s okay to make mistakes. Making them feel that we are a family has strengthened my rapport with them.”

For Poonam, the most rewarding part about being a teacher is seeing her students confidently use their English language skills.

“Being a part of their educational journey and to celebrate their success is an amazing feeling. When my students successfully use the language in real-life situations and I see the impact my teaching has had on them, it encourages me to perform better.”

Poonam also believes that ESL teachers play a bigger part in their students’ lives than they may realize.

“I believe teaching ESL is not just teaching English. It’s about educating the learners how to live and enjoy their life in this beautiful country. I always follow the rule of putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. It creates respect, rapport, and makes teaching and learning a lot of fun. A passionate educator can leave an everlasting and positive impact on a learner’s life. Just teach with your heart!”

Want to share why you love ESL Library and how you use it in your classroom? Tell us here.

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