Asad's volunteering journey 

I would like to admit that my professional life took diverse paths as I sought to venture into different careers. Although I used to do ESOL ten years ago, I still felt an irresistible urge to explore in the field of business. It is at this moment that I ended up with a PG in international business. After 10 years of working in different jobs, my passion for a teaching career kept on haunting me until I decided to return to the profession.

As methodologies of teaching English as a second language have evolved, I had to take refresher courses in TESOL or CELTA. I took TESOL, which gave me an in-depth view of how the aspect of teaching English has changed. Equipped with two academic degrees, I was now ready to follow my dream instead of blindly chasing salary figures.

After successfully passing and getting certified, I was now competent to look for a teaching position opportunity. My course director advised me to begin volunteering to brush my skills. Fortunately, after a thorough search, I came across the TALK ENGLISH project. I was glad to meet Soukaina (project officer), who gave me invaluable support. After discussing it with Neena (Project Manager), I was offered to teach at Digbeth - in July 2019. I did not hesitate to take such a golden opportunity.

Neena noticed my strengths and determinations, which earned me a chance to be an assistant teacher. The volunteering experience enriched my expertise. After working for a few weeks, I was assessed, and Neena gave me another opportunity to have my own class. To me, it was a lifetime achievement that I was eagerly waiting for. The project and staff were very collaborative and supportive. By December 2019, I had already spent 7 months volunteering, I was assigned an internal and external observer.

The project enhanced my confidence, enriched my skills, and helped me a lot with the adaption of ICT in my class. The project is well-structured, and this has made me learn more daily. It has enabled me to brush my skills despite having been out of teaching for almost a decade. My biggest achievement was to be offered a position to teach an intensive entry 3 ESOL course and lead the teaching.

I am grateful to Lord Almighty, who has been with me throughout the journey as a volunteer and now as a sessional tutor at Fircroft college. It’s a pleasure to work at Fircroft College.