We have often heard how education is the key that can unlock your future and change the world. Teachers can open the door for you, but it is up to you as a learner to enter by yourself. To do this, you need a teacher that will not only instruct them on the material, but draw out their potential, ignite their fire to learn and make learning interesting. This month, we’re shining our Alison Learner Spotlight on Judy Griffiths, a passionate and invested online English teacher.

She spoke of her desire to continue learning and impart her knowledge on her students and how her learnings have enriched her teaching methods. This is her story.

What is your current role?

I work as an ESL teacher – teaching English to foreign learners. I also run a small tutoring company. I primarily teach and tutor children between grade 1 and grade 7.  

How did you find out about Alison?

I have always had a great love for academics and was searching online for courses that would enhance my skills and qualifications. A Google search on online courses led me to Alison.

What made you choose to study with Alison?

I read that there are online courses and certificates available and I could join millions of graduates. Those who know me, know that I love studying short courses and of course, especially for free. I was drawn to the portal and the structure, the way Alison has set out its modules – each with a preview of what the course is about and it also has assessments. All of this for free.

What courses did you do?

I am doing a total of seven (7) courses at the moment and have completed two. I have a Diploma in Basic English Grammar and I have a certificate in Grammar and Vocabulary. 

How much time per week did you spend studying?

I came across Alison at the beginning of the pandemic and being at home, I found I had a lot of time on my hands. I approached my studying like proper school, so everyday, Monday to Friday. Now however, I dedicate 2 hours daily, 3 times a week.

How did the courses you completed prepare and help you in your career?

For me, ‘help’ is a soft word. “Enabling” is a great one because Alison enabled me to have confidence. Alison carries a philosophy in that they don’t just teach you theory. You have interactive videos that put into practicality. You have assessments and comprehension check questions that monitor how much of the content you comprehend and thus building your confidence. This all enabled me to start my own tutoring company because the course equipped me and ensured I was fully competent for my career.

What skills or knowledge did you learn throughout the programme that you found most useful in your career?

Because Alison doesn’t just teach theory, but gives you practical examples you can apply to your everyday life, I remembered one such illustration of behaviourism of a child in class and the reinforcements that come with other kids’ reactions. I am able to understand and apply my knowledge in my teaching, understanding my kids and also how to help them. 

Did you experience any challenges while completing the course?

The first challenge was time management. The second was data -it’s a bit expensive in South Africa, but it’s manageable now and I have dedicated set times and specific amounts to my studies. Apart from these, no other challenges because Alison courses are simplified and for the lay-man like myself- it’s not difficult.

Are there any other courses you’d like to study through Alison?

There are many courses I want to do. There’s a business English course focused on entrepreneurship, Diploma in Educational Psychology, and one that is really close to my heart is the Diploma in Special Needs

What advice can you give to prospective Alison learners?

First and foremost, take your courses seriously, as if you are walking into Harvard or another recognised institution. Alison is no exception. Plan your time well. Take your courses and assessments seriously and just because it’s free, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in the effort. Alison is there to teach and empower you.

How do you stay motivated during studying?

At the core of it, I had to remind myself why I am studying and what am I studying for. I am doing it to enhance my skills. When I remembered that, l was good to go. Whatever fell into my lap, I was able to do it because I knew the reason I was doing it.

As we ended our enlightening conversation, she reiterated that we don’t get a lot of things for free, things that are good and will help you. “Make use of Alison. It’s there for you and it’s for free. Judy’s passion for teaching and learning is contagious. She is the type of teacher every student dreams of. One who sees them and wants them to learn, grow, improve and enjoy the process. Alison is great. It’s professional and is like a tertiary institution that is renowned  and well. 

If you’re interested in pursuing an online teaching career like Judy and don’t know where to start, you can begin by taking our English test to assess your level, and then explore our various TEFL courses and guide here and bring the world to your classroom. 

And if you’d like to share your Alison success story with other students, comment below and who knows, we could shine our learner spotlight on you next.

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