David Knott

Reflection is an important part of education, and I've given quite a lot of thought as to where I hope to be into the future, which could be summarized as coming home. 

After I moved from the United States to Poland, I was able to quite quickly rise through the teaching ranks to find myself teaching at both the highest-profile private school and the highest-rated university English program; since then, it has been something of a rude awakening to see just how competitive the job market for teachers is in other parts of the world. Once working abroad became a viable alternative, improving my qualifications became a priority, and I have been very pleased with the University of Exeter's TESOL Doctor of Education (Ed.D) program in Dubai. It is already thrilling to be able to rekindle my passion for culture and look at its relationship to English language learning, and into the future I plan to do more research into that connection, together with teaching. My ultimate hope is that the Ed.D will open more avenues and give a wider choice of types of programs and locations of universities when I look to move on.

I enjoyed the Intensive English Program (IEP) that I was a part of in Saudi Arabia, and the English and culture courses that I am teaching now in the UAE have also been rewarding, thus I foresee doing this teaching for some time. However, in the middle term, a teaching arrangement like I had in Poland, doing some basic, TESOL-style general English teaching (in an IEP, for instance), along with more academic pursuits like the high-level composition classes I taught at Adam Mickiewicz University would be an idea situation. Moving beyond communication and helping students to organize their ideas, be critical, use logic, and pursue their own interests in research is rewarding on a different level entirely. The potential to do research myself would be a bonus, and once my doctorate is competed, I will also more actively pursue leadership roles, thus upon completing my doctorate, my most important aspiration is to diversify my teaching (levels and courses) while working in a stable and safe environment with a potential for research and leadership roles.

Eventually, though, with the growth of TESOL and IEP programs in the United States, a return there is a real possibility, after perhaps a decade or more in the Middle East or further abroad.