Interview with Mambiatka. Part I

Ewa is an English teacher since 2007. She runs a great blog Szuflada Jezykowa (Language drawer). Some time ago she suggested an interview with me and I immediately agreed. The first part of the interview appeared on July 4th on her blog and the second part will appear on July 11th! Today I publish the interview in English. Enjoy!

Today about Monika, known as Mambiatka. She is a passionate teacher who teaches  English to children and cannot imagine ever having a different job. Her profile on Facebook is often visited not only by other teachers, but also parents seeking creative inspiration. Monica's website belongs to the richly illustrated, and it is tempting to try out the ideas presented there!

Thanks to interview with Monica you will find out some more about her. You will have an opportunity to read why she decided to run the blog, how the author finds the time for creating all the teaching resources and what were her favorite subjects during the study. Today the first part of the interview.

Ewa: Hi Monica! I am very pleased that you agreed to answer some of my questions. I have a lot of them, but it would be best to start from the beginning. When did you decide to work with English and then as a teacher? Have you ever thought about different profession? 

Monika: I have dreamt about being a teacher ever since I can remember. Even as a little girl I pretended that I was a teacher. My mum bought me a big notebook and it was my register. I decided that I would be an English teacher in high school. I had a wonderful passionate teacher with a vast knowledge not only in language but also in American culture. Then I started studying at the Teacher Training College of Foreign Languages ​​and things moved very quickly. Teaching practice just assured me in my decision. However, I did not expect that I would work with children. During my teaching practice in primary school I begged my mentor not to have lessons with the first grade. Honestly I was very afraid of these lessons, I thought I wouldn't manage and did not know how to work with such young children. During MA studies I started to work in a language school. It turned out that I had to teach kids from classes 1-3 (mainly from the first). I had no choice, although I was afraid, I tried and ... I fell in love with this work :)

Ewa: How did your adventure with running a website start? What was the reason? Was it just for you or for your students and parents? Maybe both? 

Monika: In time I began to discover the passion in what I was doing. I didn't even think about creating a blog. Both friends and my fiancé tried to persuade me to do it but I was not sure whether it was a good idea. I decided to create a blog because I wanted it to be a kind of portfolio. I thought that it could look nice in my CV. However, when the blog was created I was shocked because of the great interest in it. My website was created only half year ago and now there are over 2000 followers on Facebook, not only from Polan but also from countries such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, United States, Czech Republic. I am glad that also parents use my ideas and resources and work with their children at home. I think this is  very important.

Ewa: What about the blog's name? You must admit that Mambiatka is not an ordinary name. Most of the English teaching bloggers choose rather some English names, or those associated with the US or the UK? Unless you associate Mambiatka with English, tell us about it.

Monika: Actually, I must admit that the name Mambiatka a little peculiar name for a blog about teaching English. I was thinking about the name very long. I considered various options but there are  currently so many blogs and website about teaching English, that it was hard to come up with something original and unique. Mambiatka is my nickname from high school. I decided on this name because it is mine. It does not necessarily refer directly to the English language but I want people to immediately associate Mambiatka with great ideas and beautiful resources :)

Eve: What are the biggest benefits of your work? Do you consider changing the target group eg. adults, corporations, high school students in the future?

Monika: There are many advantages but the biggest one is that the children remember a lot after our lessons. I know that I helped someone. The great satisfaction is the fact that even after a considerable period of time kids remember the words which they have learned. At the moment I don't consider changing age group. Of course, if there will be the need or opportunity I will try, but I won't give up on teaching children.

Eve: At the end of this part of the interview I have one more question. What was your favorite subject during the studies and why?

Monika: My favorite subjects were methodology and literature. I was ver fond of   methodology because I learned a lot. It was obvious that Ms. Karolina was a passionate teacher. I didn't like a lot literature as a subject in college but our teacher made it really interesting and with time I started to like literature. A man with a vast knowledge, a winner of the literary competitions (for example in Poznan and Vienna) showed us that one can really fall in love with literature :) I was very disappointed with my MA studies in Gdańsk. I learned almost nothing there. During Methodology classes we did everything the same as during BA studies - nothing new, only repetitions - a waste of time. 

Ewa: It was a very interesting conversation. I learned a lot about you and the readers probably already can't wait for the second part of the interview. I can only tell you that it will be a little bit more about your hobby and funny situations that happened during your lessons. The rest is a mystery! For now:)

Monika: Thank you very much!

Nobody is perfect! If you find any mistake, email me and I will correct it! :)