Teaching Traveling: Tasha Hacker is an ESL teacher, CELTA Trainer and the co-owner and co-founder of Teaching House, and the English language schools, IH New York and IH Boston. She has been traveling and teaching ESL abroad for 15 years and writes about living the dream by chasing adventures at TurfToSurf.com
Tasha, tell us more about yourself!
Tasha: Originally from Upstate New York, I graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1999 with a degree in Creative Writing and an intense fear of cubicles. So, in order to avoid desk jobs of all kinds, I joined the Peace Corps and shipped off to the Russian Far East, where I taught English in Nakhodka, near Vladivostok.
I then spent the next 7 years traveling abroad and teaching English when I needed money, which took me to England (where I got my Trinity CertTESOL in Windsor, UK); Doha, Qatar (where I met my British husband, who is also an ESL teacher and CELTA teacher trainer); Barcelona, Spain (where I did my Cambridge DELTA) and Seville, Spain, where I taught for two years and got married to my husband Ryan. For those who don’t know, CELTA is a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and is an internationally recognized credential for teaching ESL.
In 2006, Ryan and I moved to New York City so I could do my MA in English education at Columbia University and go abroad again to teach in international schools with my public school teaching certification in hand (or at least that was the plan).
Meanwhile, Ryan worked as a CELTA Trainer at Embassy CES in New York, but within a few months of our arrival, Embassy shut down their CELTA training department.
Which is when Ryan and I began to wonder if we – two experienced and qualified ESL teachers and CELTA trainers – could fill the ESL teacher training void in New York. We established a relationship with Cambridge University, built our first web site, rented conference room space from St. John’s University and – voila! – Teaching House was born.
Since our opening in June 2007 in New York City (Manhattan), Teaching House has opened CELTA centers in 12 more cities in the U.S. and will open two more this summer in Salt Lake City and Portland. Amazingly, Teaching House is now the largest CELTA training center in the world, sending thousands of teachers abroad to do exactly what Ryan and I have done – travel and teach and live a life that inspires us.