Meet Erin. Erin is from America and found love in Belfast! She teaches in our adult school as well as our summer young learners. This year is her third summer camp.
Why Belfast now?
I’ve always loved Belfast and found myself continuing to return over the last ten years. Then, in 2012 I met a guy…and now we’re happily married! We were married last November and now Belfast isn’t just a place I love to visit, but a place I am excited to make my home.
Which building would you most like to be locked in overnight?
The Crown Liquor Saloon.
Describe your perfect day in the city?
If it was a sunny day, I’d go for brunch at Soul Food cafe on the Ormeau road and then walk it off along the towpath or by climbing Cave Hill. I’d then make my way to either Ormeau or Botanic Park to relax while reading a good book in the sunshine.
What is your favourite lesson to teach?
Anything that gets the students talking for the majority of the lesson! One of my favourites is a lesson about opinions and points of view – there is always a lot of passion and great English.
What is the best thing about being a teacher?
The students! I love guiding students to discover their own understanding of English. It’s great to see that ‘I get it’ moment when teaching grammar or when a student fully understands the meaning of a vocabulary word. But, understands it because they’ve found the way…not just because I’ve told them the answer; I think this helps builds confidence and it’s fantastic to see students growing in confidence as they learn.
What possession could you not do without in the classroom?
A bottle of water! I drink a lot of water and need to stay hydrated to stay sane.
If you could rid the world of one thing – what would it be?
When were you happiest?
The day I got to marry the man I love. 🙂
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
What is your most treasured possession?
My grandmother’s rosary. She was a fantastic woman and I really looked up to her while I was growing up. I still remember praying in Spanish with her every night before going to bed.
What makes you unhappy?
Stress, a dirty house, my to-do list, and when I forget about my tea and go to take a drink and it’s gone cold; it’s the worst!
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I’m so short! If only I was three inches taller – how different life would look!
What is your favourite smell?
Babies, freshly baked bread, and Mexican food!
What is your most unappealing habit?
I talk too much sometimes and can tell pretty long-winded stories.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An actress, then a nurse, then a teacher; I guess one of them worked out!
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“like” – I am American and “sorry.”
What is the worst job you’ve done?
I once worked in a call centre where we had to call random people and try to get them to buy a subscription to get magazines. People hated us. Also, we weren’t allowed to talk to anyone and a man would walk around and yell at us if we weren’t calling people or if we tried to talk another colleague. I was scared to even get up and go to the bathroom. I only lasted five hours and walked out; leaving the building knowing I never had to go back was the best feeling.
When did you last cry, and why?
June 30th, 2016 – I know the exact date because it was the wedding of two of my dear friends. I got a bit teary when my friend was walking down the aisle; she looked beautiful.
What is your greatest fear?
Spiders…absolutely hate them! I’m terrified of them and will run screaming out of a room if I see one.
Which book changed your life?
It’s a tie…Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery or Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I can’t remember if I read them around the same time or if one came before the other, but both played a part in igniting my love of reading and they are why I became, and still am, an avid reader.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Finishing two Master’s degrees…it was hard work.
What keeps you awake at night?
Worrying about all the things I have to do the next day! Worrying runs in my family.
What is top of your bucket list?
Going to Australia.
How do you relax?
Reading a good book while drinking a cup of tea…or red wine! It depends on the time of day and what mood I’m in.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
If I could get more sleep…but I’m such a night owl and do some of my best work the later it gets in the day.
Where would you most like to be right now?
Home in Minnesota with my family…having a bbq by the lake.
Is it better to give or to receive?
To give – definitely! I love giving presents or, more often, to give food. I love to cook and bake and then feed people. It’s an expression of love.