Ian Crerar

Teaching English in a Brazilian classroom 30 years ago sparked Ian Crerar’s interest in teaching at CCI-LEX.

When I was younger, many years ago, while backpacking someone told me if you want to stay in a country, and live for a while, frugally, you can always teach English.”

Travelling from Europe, to the Middle East, from India, to Latin America with backpack in hand, Ian Crerar made Brazil home and taught English for a year at a school there. During his stay Ian immersed himself in the Brazilian culture, tried local foods, exchanged words, and at work had a new encounter teaching and learning grammar. Little to his knowing, this busy classroom in Brazil would be a pivotal moment in his life, guiding his curiosity, and shaping his future.

Ian says, “After I retired from university, where I worked for 30 years, I needed something to do and CCI-LEX was perfect. I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to teach again, and this was an opportunity.”

That thought that lingered in the back of his mind, however, was not just teaching for Ian, but understanding the underlying logic of grammar and its’ structure. Going back  in time 30 years—it was Ian’s encounter with grammar in that classroom in Brazil that was a pivotal moment for his future.  It was that experience that brought Ian to CCI-LEX after he retired from his job at the university.

Ian is familiar with the teaching experience at CCI-LEX, starting first as a volunteer instructor in the LEX Program in 2014, then joining the CCI Program after becoming a certified TESL instructor.  Ian truly enjoyed teaching LEX classes, but knew there was another even more formal side to CCI-LEX, the accredited CCI Program, so “I figured I’d try and take TESL training,” he explains.  Ian continues to teach regularly in both programs (Thank you Ian).

He may not backpack around the world anymore, but Ian finds all continents of the world in the students he interacts with and teaches at CCI-LEX. He says, “Because students are from all over the world, you get to ask questions and they talk a bit about themselves; you discuss food, entertainment, and even clothing. We meet a lot of different cultures and students. This is a good place to meet people.”

Ian says about teaching, “I find it very rewarding that I am contributing something. I know the students really need to learn English to succeed here in Canada, and I’ve tried very hard to become a better teacher since I’ve been here. They get better and I get better.”