I can still clearly remember the day I decided to quit my job teaching in a school to start My IELTS Classroom. I was travelling home from a late-night IELTS class looking at some videos on YouTube, and when I compared them to the lesson I had just taught, all I could think was:
“Is this the best that we can offer students? These low-level ‘tips and tricks’ that don’t really help anybody? There must be a better way than this!”
And so, the next day, I handed in my resignation, painted my living-room white, turned it into a film studio and spent the next two years doing nothing but writing, filming and editing my IELTS teaching videos.
Yes, two years! At times, I thought it would never end. And everybody I knew told me that I was mad. But I knew that if I could just keep going, I would create something that was totally unique and genuinely effective.
And, that’s the thing! Just as there is no “quick” or “simple” way to make a great IELTS course, there is also no quick and simple way to get a high IELTS score. I’ve spent 17 years teaching English for Academic Purposes in universities and, trust me, if I could put all of the skills you need to achieve a 7+ into a few short lessons, I would be lying on a private beach somewhere instead of typing this!
The truth is that IELTS requires a high-level of English and a deep knowledge of academic skills (yes, even you General Training students need these too!), and those take time and expertise to build!
And that’s why I built this course – to show students what being in a real classroom with a genuine IELTS expert feels like.
Yes, making this course almost killed me, but it is by far my biggest life accomplishment. I managed to put all of my skills and experience as a teacher, ex-IELTS examiner, university exam writer, photographer and YouTube-fanatic together to create something I think is really special.
Plus, I went from helping a handful of students each year to over 100,000! That still blows me away! In less than a year, I have helped more students pass the test than in my whole teaching career!
And even though I’m helping thousands of people all over the world, I still do everything I can to make sure every student who joins my courses feels looked after.
That’s because I realise that as well as good teaching, what most test-takers need is ENCOURAGEMENT! Seriously, IELTS can break you if you aren’t careful, so it’s really important to me that my students feel they are no longer alone on their IELTS journey. I can’t take the test for you, but I can do everything I can to make you feel supported and encouraged.
5 Things about Me!
- I studied Philosophy at university, which was probably the biggest mistake I ever made. But if I hadn’t done that, I would never have taken a job in sales that I hated, where I met a colleague who persuaded me to do a CELTA (Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Other Languages). Now, I’ve got a Master’s in Applied linguistics (which is actually useful!) and a job I LOVE!
- I once left the UK to go on holiday for 3 weeks in Australia and then got offered a job in Japan, so just stopped there to teach for a year on the way home (my Mum was so mad!)
- I used to teach barefoot in my classes in Australia – now I live in Russia I can’t even imagine how that was possible!
- When I was at school, languages were my WORST subject (French and German were the only B’s I got at GCSE). I think this is what makes me a good teacher though – I know to break complicated language into smaller, easier to learn pieces!
- It took me over 4,000 hours to complete My IELTS Classroom – hopefully it will take you much less time to complete the course and get your band score!
The Official Stuff
- Master of Applied Linguistics (University of Newcastle, Australia)
- 17 year’s teaching experience (qualified with a CELTA in 2002) – worked as Director of Studies and Head Teacher in four schools.
- Specialist in exam creation and teaching EAP (English for Academic Purposes), in particular writing and reading.
- Currently employed as Head Exam Writer at the University of St Petersburg, Russia
- Ex-IELTS writing examiner (IDP)
- Experience teaching in the UK, Austria, Japan, Spain, Russia, and Australia (mono-lingual and multi-lingual classes).
- Director of My IELTS Classroom (UK registered company)