Ian Gordon

Couch Surfing
Toulouse, France

About Ian

Bio

Ian Gordon
email: ianjohngordon@yahoo.fr
Nationality: English DOB: 11.11.1973

Experienced English teacher/private tutor. Economics graduate. Before teaching, I was a manager in the British government and a team leader for a major logistics company. I now live in France and have intermediate French language skills.

Qualifications:

Cambridge English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) International House, Newcastle, 2005

BA Economics Sheffield University, 1995

A Levels: Physics B, Economics B, Maths C, General Studies C

GCSE: English Language A, English Literature A, Maths A, Physics A
Chemistry A, Economics B, Design & Technology C, French C

Experience:

April 2011 – May 2011: Arrimage Langues, Montpellier, France
Professeur d'anglais
Short project, teaching Business English and culture to adult groups.

Sept 2010 – March 2011: Self-employed, Lille and Montpellier, France
English tutor
Teaching privately to individuals, couples and groups in and around Lille. Organising all my own advertising, logistics and administration.

Dec 2010 – Feb 2011: Perpetual Study, Lille, France
Language consultant (part-time)
Producing educational games for language learners. Involved testing the games, checking the instructions and translating database information from French to English. I ensured that the games' content and marketing material was clear and accurate.

Sept 2010 – Feb 2011: L'Institut ESHotel Association, Lille, France
Professeur d'anglais (part-time)
4 hours/week. Developed a program of professional, business English language training at Master level to prepare students for management positions. My focus was on building industry knowledge, and developing core skills in communication, interviewing, negotiation, and presentations.

Sept 2009 – Sept 2010 Self-employed, Bristol & Edinburgh, UK
January - June 2009
English tutor
Teaching individuals, couples and small groups of various nationality: general English, exam preparation and interview practice. Topical discussions and role play. Structured grammar sessions and reading practice.

July & Aug 2009 St Bedes' International Summer School, Sussex, UK
EFL teacher
Classes of teenage students. Worked closely with my academic manager to plan resources and helped to find suitable materials to supplement the syllabus. Each week, I completed a creative project with my students. Due to consistently high performance, I was selected from my group to do extra weeks at an associated boarding school.

Feb 2008 – Dec 2008 Hess Language School, Taichung, Taiwan
EFL teacher
I used many activities to bring the syllabus to life. Built excellent working relationships with chinese staff and colleagues from around the world. I completed regular training sessions and developed my skills in class management, lesson planning and effective communication.

Sept 2006 – Nov 2007 DTS Logistics, Newcastle under Lyme, UK
Logistics team leader:
Responsible for the efficient distribution of fashion items in a large-scale warehouse. 5 staff members. Liaised with engineers to fix mechanical faults and produced management reports.

July 2006 – Aug 2006 Stafford House Study Holidays, Portsmouth, UK
EFL teacher
Summer school classes and outdoor activities. Also supervised day trips to local areas of historic interest. Additionally responsible for pastoral care and night duties such as securing accommodation blocks and dealing with any problems students had.

May 2004 – Feb 2006 Dept. for Constitutional Affairs, London, UK
IT projects manager:
Managed the IT maintenance and procedures for several offices. Planned resources and schedules and rolled out upgrades. Presented plans to other departments. Ran a help desk for end users and organized training events for staff.

June 2002 – April 2004 Holmes Place Gym, London, UK
Instructor/personal trainer
Group inductions and one-to-one consultations on health and lifestyle. As part of a council project, I specialized in programmes for the elderly and heart patient rehabilitation. Helped management to organise facilities and prepare marketing materials.

2000 - 2002 IT Net, Birmingham, UK
Analyst programmer:
Developing software. Testing new code to meet customer needs. Volunteered to help modernise business processes and created flow chart models for senior business analysts. Worked overtime to eliminate 'millennium bug' problems.

Professional training:

2009 Bristol council: Certificate in Leadership
2006 DTS Logistics: Communication & Leadership Certificate
2002 UK Immigration: Civil Service Management Program
All aspects of management with a focus on people skills.
2001 OCR: NVQ Level 2: Business Technology & Software

Interests:

Life long learning: reading , documentaries and current affairs.
Language, science, culture and travel.
Music and guitar.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

120267
Ian Gordon
Posted almost 4 years ago
Where social welfare is provided by the government, people should not give money to beggars.
Oh, just realized I haven't answered this question yet - apologies for delay. If someone wanted to support a buddhist monk on a spiritual journey, I wouldn't have a problem with that. Although I question such religious behaviour, I don't think the monk, or perhaps nun, considers himself or herself to have a problem, but actually welcomes the mendicant life as a means to explore other realities - but I'm no expert on this. In this case, I wouldn't see the donation as causing the perpetuation of a problem, but rather aiding someone to complete a journey. I'm cautious about this, as one exception can lead to justification for others and so on, but more importantly, I'm not advocating a rule to never give money to anyone for anything, but rather suggesting that if one wants to donate money to something, donate to something you consider worthwhile, after consideration of how the money will be used and the good it will do. If giving to beggars solved their problems, I'd be all for it, but I'm sure it doesn't. Besides, what some people call giving is really just easing their conscience by shedding a bit of loose change they won't even notice. If someone wanted to help, I'd suggest choosing a worthwhile cause and setting up a direct debit to give, say, 10% of their income to it - that's what I would admire. There's a big difference. Or even get involved, hands on.
120267
Ian Gordon
Posted almost 4 years ago
Where social welfare is provided by the government, people should not give money to beggars.
Hi Mark. Thanks for elaborating on your earlier points, and for providing some data. I agree that the giving of change to panhandlers (a term that perhaps better includes the craft involved, as there are tactics to begging) is not the core problem. However, to give or not to give, is a regular dilema in many peoples lives, and a question I've asked myself in the past. To debate everything, such as causes of homelessness and economic failings is, I think, too much for one debate; I wanted to concentrate on just one specific question for the time being.Looking at the research you indicated showed me some interesting points about begging being constitutionally protected, and the idea of service vouchers that could be given in lieu of cash. I don't think service vouchers are a good idea. Everyone who needs the service should just go and get it, not have to wait for someone to give them a voucher. I don't think criminalising begging helps either, as punishment is just going to exacerbate the problems of the poor. I didn't see anything that said that giving cash to beggars is useful. For me, it doesn't matter if the money keeps the same person on the street, or is the incentive for a new person to become a beggar, I don't think any research is necessary to know that if no-one ever gave any money to beggars, they wouldn't spend time begging. My argument is that, as a society, we don't want desperation and extreme poverty. We want real solutions. Giving money to individuals on the street is an antiquated and ineffective way to try to help, and it distracts all participants, both giver and recipient, from looking for solid solutions. I see people giving, on the metro for example, just to get the person to go away. In some places, like South Africa, it can be more intimidating, and verges on robbery. But I'm not trying to demonize beggars, who of course represent a whole range of humanity, I want to end begging. As long as people give, others with beg.
120267
Ian Gordon
Posted almost 4 years ago
Where social welfare is provided by the government, people should not give money to beggars.
The dogs can be adorable, but I have to stick to my principle. Even 50 cents at a time can add up over a day. I agree that the welfare systems need to improve in the ways already mentioned, but lets not perpetuate this begging phenomenon. If they're begging, it's because they think it's worth it, and while they're begging, they're not trying to do anything positive, they're not getting the help they really need, and your money will more often than not buy drugs and alcohol - not what they need at all.
120267
Ian Gordon
Posted almost 4 years ago
Isn't it time to eliminate grades in education?
Hi. I agree with much of what you said. I think we have to be careful not to separate students too soon, but having a less academic route for those who'd rather get into a trade faster is the right approach, I think. Refering to Chan's comment, I don't think you were saying empathy is unimportant, but just difficult to measure and not a substitute for grades. I had a look at Kahn Academy. I haven't had time yet to judge how good it is, but I agree there's a big furture for on-line lessons. I love them: so convenient, and once the market provides a good choice of providers, schools could be almost exclusively for projects and collaboration, not learning the data. At school, you have the teacher you're given; on-line, you can pick and choose, mix and match. Now I have to take up maths again! Cheers.
120267
Ian Gordon
Posted almost 4 years ago
Isn't it time to eliminate grades in education?
Hi Chan. I like the thoughtfulness of you comments. Certainly, when one teaches something, one's own knowledge and understanding grows. It was surprising to discover many of the problems foreign students have with English, and I had to learn a lot to be able to guide students through language patterns that I had just taken for granted. I think students would benefit a lot from this, both in terms of subject mastery, and social skills. Their maturity and responsibility towards each other would increase - this all sounds great. The art of conversation and listening would have to develop to meet these goals. As for meditation, I'm aware of dozens of practices and I think it would be very difficult to standardize anything across an educational stysem. It's a much more controversial area. So, the authorites could allow each school free choice about incorporating different elements of meditaion into their syllabi, but I wouldn't make it compulsory. Keep it as an extra-curricular activity because I think it's a very personal pursuit and still a minority activity, despite growth in it's popularity. Brain scans to measure progress (however you'd define progress) is still science fiction, I think, but of course sci-fi today can be old hat tomorrow :)
120267
Ian Gordon
Posted about 4 years ago
Isn't it time to eliminate grades in education?
I agree. I wouldn't bother with the self-grading either, but self-evaluation is a powerful mechanism when done with integrity. I have no more questions at the moment, but will continue to watch this space :) Thanks a lot.
120267
Ian Gordon
Posted about 4 years ago
Isn't it time to eliminate grades in education?
Yes, like you say, brutal honesty is seldom useful, and probably given more often out of anger or spite than a desire to educate. A teacher with good personal skills, who can relate well to students is obviously better. I think most teachers are willing, but get jaded, and lose their idealism in the day to day grind. I didn't do traditional teacher training; I trained to teach English as a foreign language, and then got on the job training. I decided against mainstream school teaching because I disagreed with the methods so much. I think the 9 mth training course would have been largely a waste of time. I worked for the UK government a few years back, and one of the focal points of the management training was about giving effective feedback - it's a universal need. As has been mentioned, but is perhaps worth reiterating, there's not one kind of teacher: each teacher should express themselves as a means to inspire others. Whatever training we give teachers, I think it should be fairly straightforward, so as to instil important basics, like good feedback, but without constraining the natural behaviour and style of each teacher. We want diversity in our teachers, just as we want it in students - that's what I think anyway.
120267
Ian Gordon
Posted about 4 years ago
Isn't it time to eliminate grades in education?
Yes, but I think it's ok so long as they're acknowledging room for improvement, which they now recognise, rather than feeling failure. However, if the grades get lower from one quarter to the next, I'd say there's something to be addressed. Interestingly, if you abolished grades, this indicator of the students perception would be lost. Could it be that self-grading is better than no grades?