Joshua Yardley

Joshua had a typical midwestern upbringing in what some consider to be “the furthest suburb of Chicago”, but he always had a curiosity about what lay beyond the corn fields of Northern Illinois. After completing a degree in Journalism, he had the opportunity to move to Germany and jumped at it. This was his first look at life abroad and also where he cut his teeth as an English teacher. He loved the life and the job so much that he stayed there for three years. In fact, he found teaching English to be so rewarding that he eventually returned to the United States to pursue a graduate degree in TESL. This decision led to several exciting opportunities thereafter. Armed with new knowledge, he moved to Colorado to begin teacher training. Then it was on to Indonesia where he was granted a yearlong fellowship with the English Language Fellowship program. Following his fellowship, he moved to Saudi Arabia where he worked for over four years at a technical vocational training college. There he oversaw dozens of teachers and thousands of students as the Head of Department of a preparatory year program. This is also where he began to explore the wide range of educational technologies that had been emerging in the field. He’s now curious to explore all the ways that technology can improve teacher training at Teaching House.

When he’s not working, Josh enjoys going to concerts, going for long runs, and taking his son on road trips or to swimming lessons. He’s also prone to binge watching tv and falling down YouTube rabbit holes.  


What motivated you to want to work for Teaching House?

Teaching House immediately felt like family to me. I taught at their centers in San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Everyone I’ve met here has been so welcoming and gone out of their way to make sure I have what I need. The trainers are super engaged in the success of the candidates and give their all to make sure everyone is progressing to the best of their abilities.


Where have you traveled (both for teaching and for fun)?

I’ve taught in Germany, the United States, Mexico, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. Europe is probably my favorite place to travel; I especially love the bohemian way of life in Prague. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time enjoying the weather and laid-back vibe in Southeast Asia since that’s where my family is from.


What do you enjoy about your job helping prospective CELTA trainees?

It’s always amazing to me to see how much people develop during the course. This includes teaching ability, but also language awareness and an awareness of students’ needs. People come in knowing very little and leave fully capable of planning their own lessons, designing their own materials, and leading their own classes.


How has travel changed you as a person?

I am a lot more open-minded about cultures and ways of life. Nothing really surprises me anymore. I don’t get stressed out much anymore when things don’t go as I expected, and have learned to just go with the flow. I have also learned that everywhere you go in the world, most people are good, kind, and caring. 


What do you enjoy about working with and helping ESL students who come to take free classes with Teaching House?

I love the encouraging environment in the teaching practice classes. The teachers are there to support the students and the students also support the teachers. Everyone is learning and growing together. I also like knowing that the language the students are using in class is going to help them down the road in their relationships, education, or careers.


What advice would you give to people looking to travel the world teaching English if they’ve never traveled abroad before (and might be feeling a little nervous about making the leap)?

There are so many support systems for teachers overseas. Not least are the other teachers at whatever school you work for. Many of my closest friends are people who I have worked with while abroad. They were there to help me get acclimated to my new home and also to bounce ideas for lessons off of. They’re also there to share in your holidays and traditions. They’re pretty much like family.