Lizzy Adams

Lizzy Adams is the Director of Teacher Training as well as a full-time CELTA and Delta teacher trainer at Teaching House. Over the course of her English teaching career, she’s done the CELTA, the Delta and her MA in TESOL.

Originally from Birmingham, England, Lizzy left the UK shortly after university graduation to teach English in Poland. And by the time Teaching House had the good fortune to hire Lizzy as a full-time CELTA trainer, she had been traveling and teaching English abroad for ten years. Which means Lizzy’s trainees benefit greatly from her experience, expertise and inside information about the best schools to work for, the best countries to live in and what to expect from living and working abroad.

Lizzy now lives in the East Village and approaches life in New York City like a true traveler. She spends her weekends exploring the city and during her vacation time she’s been known to take on adventures like hiking the Grand Canyon with her father and visiting friends in faraway places like Japan, Argentina and Australia.

Q1: How did you get into teaching English?
I had finished my linguistics degree and had no idea what I wanted to do as a career. I went to the careers center at my university and clicked on “publishing” because it sounded cool. It said, “One of the routes to publishing is via TEFL.” I didn’t even know what TEFL was so I looked it up. And it said, “The best way into TEFL is through the Cambridge CELTA course.” I didn’t know what CELTA was either, so I looked it up, applied and was accepted! And my career snowballed from there!

Q2: Where have you traveled (both for teaching and for fun)?
I have travelled all over the world using the places I’ve lived as a base. When I lived in Poland, I traveled to the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Austria, and all over Poland. When I lived in Argentina I traveled to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Peru, Bolivia and Chile. When I was in Spain, I traveled all over Europe and it was there that I hit my goal of visiting 30 countries before I was 30!

Since coming to the States, I’ve been north and south of the borders and also visited Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand.

Q3: When did you realize English teaching had become a career for you (not just a means of travel)?
After my second year of teaching when I decided to transfer to IH Buenos Aires. My Dad said, “Oh, you’re taking another year off.” I said, “No, Dad. This is my career. And anyway, it’s a two-year contract!!”

Q4: How has travel changed you as a person?
I am much more easy-going and much more adventurous. But I am not the type of person who enjoys backpacking – I find it unsettling. I like to go home at the end of a week or two-week long trip! So instead I make “home” lots of different places!

Q5: What led you to become a CELTA teacher trainer?
I dreamed about it ever since I took my own CELTA. Then the opportunity arose at the language school where I was working and then came the transfer to New York and promotion to Director of Teacher training.

I actively look forward to coming to work and I don’t know anyone else in the States or abroad who can say that. Back when I was single, I used to say, “I may not have found ‘the one’ romance-wise, but I’ve definitely found the one career wise!”

Q6: What advice would you give people looking to travel abroad for the first time?
Water finds its level anywhere. You will make friends, both with people you work with and locals. There will be challenges, but also days of delirium where you see in your mind’s eye where you are on the world map!

Living abroad gives you a whole new perspective and will enrich your life, even if you are planning to return home after a period of teaching abroad.

Click to return to TH Staff Profiles