Teacher Feature

Maybe you want to learn a bit about some of the terrific teachers we have here at GV Byron Bay. This week we spoke to Senior Teacher Sophie who is currently teaching pre-intermediate and Intermediate classes.

Sophie At Her Farm Surrounded By Her Class.
Sophie at her farm surrounded by her class.


Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been in Byron Bay and where else have you lived and worked?

I’m Sophie and I have been a teacher at the school since it opened in July last year.  I live in the hinterland of Byron in Nashua, which is about 25 mins from BB.  I moved here from Sydney a year ago with my partner Nigel.  I have lived and taught in many countries around the world including Kenya, Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia.  I loved the experience of different countries and cultures but my heart will always be in Australia. I love this country and I especially Byron Bay and the surrounding areas. 

Do you have any special talents or interests (besides teaching ESL of course)?

I am a great cook!  Many of our students have experienced my cooking when we’ve had group excursions to my house for international cooking feasts.  I also speak Indonesian.

Which class are you teaching at the moment? 

I teach intermediate in the morning and pre-intermediate in the afternoon, both classes are wonderful and a joy to teach.

Can you tell us about a student in your class who you feel has made outstanding progress…?

Seo has just left the school but he made huge progress when he was a student here.  He always spoke to his classmates in English both in the classroom and outside of school.  In the last few weeks he was here he did extra work at home and really made an effort to improve his English.

What do you enjoy about teaching at GV Byron Bay?

The things I enjoy most about GV Byron Bay are the students and the staff.  We have always had a great mixture of nationalities in class and all the students make an effort to get to know each other.  Because our school is still fairly small all the students are friends and love socialising together no matter what country they are from.  The teachers at GV BB are fantastic too.  We are a young, enthusiastic group who are always willing to help out each other and our students.

If you weren’t a teacher what job would you like to be doing now?

Does living on a farm with chickens and a dog while tending to my vegetable patch count as a job??

 What do you like most about living in the Byron Bay area?

The relaxed atmosphere and down-to-earth people make Byron Bay a very special place.  The beaches and National Parks here are the best in the world and the music festivals are brilliant fun.  Everything you need is here but it’s so much more relaxed than the cities of Australia.

What is your favourite shop in Byron Bay?

I love the Farmer’s Markets that are held every Thursday.  The local food sold there is fresh and delicious and the farmers are there to tell you all about their produce. 

Favourite restaurant or café in Byron Bay?

For quick and easy food I like Fish Mongers, they have the best fish and chips in town.  A little pricier but amazing is Dish.  Have a cocktail at their bar if you can’t afford the meal!



Favourite place in the area?

Broken Head beach, it is surrounded by national park and I can ride my bike on the sand to the lighthouse at low tide. 


Do you have any handy learning hints or tips for students?

Speak English ALL the time.  The more you practice the better you get.  Writing a diary at least once a week is also a great way to improve your grammar.  Ask questions in class, your teacher is there to help you learn as much as possible in the time you’re here.

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