Who is JoannaESL?

Before I found my passion in the form of teaching ESL, I was wandering the world thinking about who I was going to be. Let me take you on a short journey so you can get to know me a little better.

  • 1991 – 2007: I was born in a small town in the north of Poland. I started my English journey at the age of 6 when I entered school. As it usually goes with those things, I don’t think I realised the importance of it. After three years of learning songs, I entered the new English level. My parents sent me to a private language academy, and I quickly reached the top of my class and school. I was lucky to have many incredible teachers who put a lot of effort into teaching this language.

  • 2007 – 2011: 2007 was a year of changes – I became a full-time English speaker as I moved to Dubai, UAE. It was a scary change as I’d been living in Poland my whole life, and I couldn’t imagine being so far away from the rest of my family and friends. I got accepted to Emirates International School – Jumeirah and completed IGCEs and IB in English. It’s funny how up until that point I thought that I was some kind of an English genius. As it turned out – I wasn’t. The first three months were awful, and I was silent. However, as it usually goes with those things – practice makes perfect! In two years, I moved from an English as a Second Language to an English as a First Language group and loved it!

  • 2011 – 2017: As it usually goes, once high school ends, you find yourself in this weird spot where you’re unsure of the purpose of life. I was always good at math and science. Moreover, I loved nature. So I combined the two and decided to study environmental engineering. I liked it but didn’t love it. I finished BEng in wastewater treatment at the University of Technology in Częstochowa (Poland) and then obtained MSc in wastewater treatment at the Aalborg University (Denmark). I completed both degrees in English. In the meantime, I completed two Erasmus programs, one at MAICh (Crete, Greece) and the other one at the University of Aveiro (Portugal).

    I loved studying, writing and doing research. This was one of the best times of my life.

  • 2018: Another year of changes. After six months of searching for a job in my field, I finally got one! I was responsible for tender bid preparations at an environmental engineering company. I got to experience the work environment, and I finally saw what it’s like to be an engineer. It wasn’t what I’d imagined. After six months of working at the company, I decided to flip my life around and move to Spain.

    You see, after finishing my bachelor’s degree, I had six months between two universities. I spent this time travelling and completing an online TEFL course. I always loved English, and I thought that it could be my plan B. So when I moved to Spain, I wanted to see what it’s like to be an ESL teacher.

  • 2018-2020: That’s when I emailed one of the companies and explained my situation. Within two days of coming to Spain, I found a permanent job at a private language academy. It was a scary experience, but I’m so happy and thankful that my boss took the risk and hired me. This is how I started working at This is England (Zafra). I had some classes at the main school, but I usually worked in a small village nearby – Zahinos. The scariest yet the best thing that has ever happened to me. I realised that I love the teaching hours, creativity and the dynamic of being in a classroom.

  • June 2020: I don’t think I need to say what happened in March 2020. I found myself stuck at home with temporary unemployment when I received an email from CLIC Seville IH. I had messaged them before about CELTA courses, but since I was always busy working, I couldn’t find any free time to do it. I was offered a spot at a 100% CELTA course. There was no time like then, so I paid and completed it with a Pass A!

  • 2020 – 2021: For personal reasons, I resigned from my previous job and moved to Altea – 800 km away. Within two weeks, I found a job at a private academy Eurobridge (Alicante), where I got to teach 15 hours a week in person, online and hybrid. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to teach intensive courses this summer. Instead, I spent this time building my internet presence, networking with other great ESL teachers and, of course, seeing my family.

  • September 2021 – ???: In the summer, I was under the impression that I was going to come back to the same academy for one more year. My life took another 180 as I received a message saying that the academy was going through a rough period, so I couldn’t return. I took a week off to think about my next step, and I decided to try freelancing.

    I’m yet to complete all the paperwork and formalities, but I secured a few private students, and I was also able to return to my very first academy as an online teacher!

    That’s all for now! The situation is developing from one day to another, so let’s see what my next update is going to be.