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Two International Teachers started this year at Audentes IB

05.10.2015

Our IB community is growing and getting more International every year. Many foreigners enjoy the beautiful nature and buzzling teach-life of Estonia. Those were also the main reasons why two of our International teachers ended up staying in Tallinn way longer than they initially planned to. Let`s give a warm welcome to our IB family Neftali and John and see what they think about living and working in Estonia.

John Christopher Sullivan_IB õpetaja_2015_150What brought you to Estonia and Audentes School?
John: A schoolmate of mine was working here in Estonia and invited me to come to Tallinn and work as a Business Lecturer. Audentes used to have an International University and I was the Vice-Dean of its Business School. Since I enjoyed working with Audentes previously, I thought it would be interesting and fun to get involved in the IB programme.

Manuel Neftali Peral Joris_IB õpetaja_2015_150Neftali: I arrived to Estonia in November 2005 when I moved to Tartu and started working as a Spanish language teacher at Tartu University. In June 2008 I thought that my period in Estonia had finished when I left Tartu and accepted a job offer in Baku, Azerbaijan. During the year there, I realized I miss Estonia and came back in summer 2009, the time when I founded Hispaania Maja, a cozy bookshop and Spanish language school.

How do you feel yourself in here?
John: I, obviously, have enjoyed being in Estonia. I was supposed to only be here for 6 months and that has turned into years and years of living and working here. For a business lecturer it is like living in a laboratory. I have seen 100 years of business development and evolution in the span of one decade! Very interesting, plus the entrepreneurial spirit that is growing here in Tallinn is exciting. The winters are nasty but the summer is glorious and the food is getting better all the time.

Neftali: I love Estonian landscape, sauna, working philosophy and nature. Tallinn is a city very easy to live in. Everything is close and we have all services needed. And the beauty of Tallinn is amazing. Working at Audentes and teaching 16 and 17 year old teenagers in an international environment is a new experience to me.  Colleagues are coming from different parts of the world, they are very enthusiastic and this is very enriching. I appreciate indeed Audentes’ philosophy and view of the world and they are determined to transfer it to the students.

Describe your teaching background?
John: I have taught on four different continents in academic levels ranging from graduate school to junior high school. My areas of specialization include international marketing, global strategy, and entrepreneurship. I have also taught courses in International Politics and World Economy. I have worked at several different universities and colleges in Estonia and guest lecture at universities and school in Europe and Africa.

Neftali: I am a Spanish Philologist and have followed more than 500 hours of trainings for Spanish teachers. I started working as a teacher 10 years ago and I could not say how many people I taught Spanish in Estonia but seems some hundreds and it makes me very honored.

What are the differences in education culture between your home country and Estonia?
John: It is not the differences between students in other countries that is interesting, but the similarities which are striking. Students are students all around the world (and I’ve taught all around the world). The good ones want to learn, they seek knowledge, they have something they are interested in and they go after it! What is difficult are the mediocre students, the ones who could be good. The challenge is finding those trigger which will engage them and light that spark of learning.

Neftali: As I have worked almost always abroad so it is hard to evaluate Spanish education system for me, but it seems that concerning high schools it is pretty similar here and there. Only difference is that Estonia stresses much more in IT and languages than Spain. In Spain we still have a problem with language teaching and learning.

What do you do besides teaching?
John: I do consulting work, research, and training for non-profits and corporations. I also work with start-up organizations, usually in their mentoring programs. For fun I play bass and sing in a rock band, enter and organize cooking competitions, and am a member of a science fiction fan club (we geek out, this week we are playing laser tag).

Neftali: I am managing Hispaania Maja and teaching there as well. Apart from that, I love cooking, travelling, listening to music, sometimes dancing and I also practice some sports, such as badminton, basketball and in summer cycling.

What do you like about IB?
John: Two words: ’Global Citizen’

Neftali: I really like the atmosphere and workmates.

Jalus