For this week’s blog post, we’d like to introduce you to one of our teachers with a fascinating background, Thomas Krüger. Keep reading to find out a bit more about this digital nomad’s unique teaching approach.
The 40 year old was born in Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany and holds a Master of Business Computing (M.Sc.). He has also lived in many countries like Germany, Switzerland and Cambodia. Thomas was a self-employed IT consultant before deciding to become a teacher at Lingoda, but always had a feeling he was missing out on something.
“I realised that having meeting after meeting and spending hours and hours of overtime at the office didn’t make me happy. Instead teaching (or better inspiring others to learn a language) is what I found fulfilling”
So he decided to take sabbatical leave and travelled around the world with his 3 year old son for 8 months. He took the opportunity and taught English to him every chance he had. After enjoying this experience so much he realised he had just discovered his next career path. Thomas decided to get a TEFL certification, one of the requirements to teach at Lingoda, and become a language teacher.
This experience was eye opening for him and led Thomas to quit his full-time job and become a “Digital Nomad”. But what does that mean exactly? In his own words:
“A digital nomad is somebody who has no fixed place to live and is earning his money over the internet.”
Since he works remotely he can travel to different and exotic countries and support a way of living that many can only dream of. A usual day of Thomas looks like this: he wakes up early and starts his teaching hours, he then has a break to have breakfast and continues with some lessons after that. He marries his teaching job with his personal project of building a digital nomad camp for others that want to follow his lifestyle. And after lunch he is free to enjoy the day and explore the place where he is staying.
With the Nomad camp he is building, his aim is to encourage others who wish to live a different life outside the corporate environment. He is creating an accommodation where community life is encouraged as well as the philosophy of “work and travel”. If you are interested you can find more information on his website: www.comjun.net.
“Our mission is to create a link between the virtual world we are currently more and more depending on and the “conservative” real world. Lingoda is a living example how this works. Since you match real people around the world using IT infrastructure you link the virtual world with the real world.”
Thomas now teaches German to his Lingoda students with a unique and personal style that he defines as the “compassionate approach”. In his own words:
“Since I have learned a foreign language by myself I know how hard it can be.The most important thing is to stay humble and encourage each student to talk as much as possible in the language they are trying to learn.”
In his classes, he tries to focus on the students’ needs as well as counteracting the natural tendency of teachers to overcorrect and to interrupt the students allowing them to gain more confidence with the language, which is one of the best ways to improve.
One of the things that Thomas likes the most about Lingoda is that he can organize his schedule freely, he gets to interact with people of different ages and backgrounds and it always involves a cultural exchange.
On one of his first classes, as he describes it, he was feeling a bit nervous about the whole situation. His student from Dubai wasn’t taking the lesson very serious, he had trouble engaging with him since his grammar level wasn’t as advanced as it should. So Thomas came up with an improvised solution that consisted on using the flashcard that he used while teaching his son. The student found it a interesting twist of events and was more responsive.
And now that you know a bit more about Thomas… Did you have the chance of meeting him in any of your lessons? Do you feel you have what it takes to become a Lingoda teacher? Let us know in the comments!