Teach with Dave: a once-in-a-lifetime ELT teacher training opportunity

2019-11-04 14:58:09

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

As a teacher, have you ever wondered what it would be like to get some teacher training from the author of your textbook? The lucky winners of our Teach with Dave competition got the chance to do just that!

In April 2019, Macmillan launched a global competition for ELT teachers called Teach with Dave. Through this competition, we offered our Gateway users all around the world a once-in-a-lifetime professional development opportunity: a two day teacher training course in London with Gateway author, Dave Spencer.

Participants were asked to record a 60 second video explaining how they thought this professional development opportunity would help them to become a better teacher, and how they could use it to benefit the wider community around them.

Over 250 teachers from 25 different countries entered the competition and 11 lucky teachers were flown to London for a busy few days of teacher training and tourism with fellow ELT teachers in July!

Dave and the winning teachers Harry Potter’s famous 9 ¾ platform at King’s Cross Station


Of the multi-national winning group, there were two winning teachers from Spain: Verónica González Parente and Ion Ander Maiz Loitegui. Verónica told us she was encouraged by the head of her school to participate as an opportunity to “learn and improve as a teacher” and that, although she had thought it “absolutely impossible to win”, she likes to participate in different events to “transmit encouragement to [her] pupils” to do the same.

Ion Ander said he entered the competition as a way to better get to know Gateway 2nd Edition, the book he is using with his class this year, but admits that the opportunity to “attend an innovative series of workshops in London with all the expenses paid by Macmillan was very attractive too!”.

The interactive sessions run by Dave Spencer covered a range of topics at the forefront of teachers’ minds, whatever their classroom reality, such as grammar, the use of technology, how to bring skills to life, teaching vocabulary, exams and, perhaps the biggest challenge of all in a Secondary classroom: encouraging teenagers to speak in English.

Ion Ander agrees that this last point is key when teaching teenagers, citing the games, warmer activities and cooler activities that Dave shared with the winning teachers on the course as what he is most looking forward to using in class to improve “motivation and make lessons more attractive”.

Ion Ander and Gateway author Dave Spencer between training sessions

So what did these enthusiastic Gateway teachers take away from this unique experience? “I learned that teachers from different parts of the world share the same concerns and ideas when it comes to teaching teenagers”, Ion Ander says. “I also learned how committed we all are to it!”.

Verónica feels she’s already a “more confident [teacher] with loads of ideas” thanks to this unique opportunity to share experiences with teachers from other countries and participate in training sessions with the author of the textbook she uses in her classes in the North of Spain.

When asked to sum up the experience in three words, Ion Ander says simply: “A stunning, memorable and inspiring experience”.

Thank you to all those who entered and another huge congratulations to our winners!

If you fancy discovering London from the top of a double-decker bus and talking grammar games with Dave, enter this year’s competition: Teach with Dave 2020 now!