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June 2019 - Year 21 - Issue 3

ISSN 1755-9715

When I Say Pilgrims

Emese Szabó (aka Zuzo Denever) is an English and English Drama teacher in Budapest, Hungary. She is highly interested in using drama and ICT techniques in the English lessons and works with students aged 9-19. Emese attended the Drama Techniques course at Pilgrims in the summer of 2018.  Email:


When I say Pilgrims

I could talk about the lovely bunnies and squirrels in Parkwood where I stayed with my groupmates, having endless improvised international dinners, Italian and Japanese pasta, Spanish tortilla, Transylvanian vineta,

or the coffees in Gaulbekian, accompanied by long talks about schools and countries, experiences from all over the world, or Canterbury, one of the best historical jewel-cities I have ever seen, the golden mine of historical facts and events, the narrow streets and Elizabethan architecture,

the extra courses held by undoubtedly skilled teachers from Pilgrims, showing us how to use videos, games, music and even how to organize our writing on the board, how to write from our heart and how to listen with our soul, and I could definitely talk about my favourite drama course held by Peter Dyer, the grand master of the the tai chi of improvisation, of accepting and getting involved, of being present, of saying ‘yes’ and taking an idea further, I could talk about all of these, but I won’t.

I would rather talk about the place I was before, struggling after only six years of teaching with getting up from bed and going to school, with hardly smiling at my colleagues, having difficulties with reaching my students and myself, as a teacher, failing to believe in me, turning into this robotic-neurotic monster-teacher whose only aim is to get things done at the least energetic level she can,  and not being able to admit it all,

and then came to Canterbury for two weeks, seeing smiling faces and listening to people talking about how wonderful our profession is, feeling that I am part of a huge community of English teachers, all different and wonderful, having Jim Wright telling us that ‘we deserve it’, that all starts with relaxing and enjoying the moment, walking to Chilham with groupmates and running to Whitstable on my own and finally being able to push that reboot button,                    

so that is what I could really talk about now, about the change Pilgrims has made in my life as a teacher, the lifejacket it was in a difficult situation, getting a new chance in experiencing how wonderful and challenging teaching really is, the array of choices I have when planning a lesson, when teaching a topic or a particular skill and the joy I can get only from being able to admit that teaching is so wonderful and not getting the ‘oh poor you, you’re a teacher look’, seeing other heads up, other minds working, making me think weather it

was it the course itself, the drama activities, the wonderful lessons held by Peter or the community, the talks, the laughs, was it the environment, the park, the bunnies, or was it all of these that taught me how to teach and smile again…😊


Please check the Pilgrims courses at Pilgrims website.

Tagged  Pilgrims News