An interview with Montse Costafreda
Montse is an ELT teacher and teacher trainer with a particular interest in the implementation of new and innovative methodologies in the classroom. She is now involved in the implementation of Oxford’s Plan Integral para la Excelencia Educativa in schools, an exciting Professional Development programme for the whole teaching community.
How long have you worked for OUP?
For 11 years now!
What are your main roles in the company?
I’ve had the chance to grow professionally here at Oxford. I started as a teacher trainer and a storyteller and then began developing training programmes for a variety of situations. For the last couple of years I’ve been involved in a thrilling new school development programme called Plan Integral para la Excelencia Educativa. My main role in the PIEE is to lead the teams involved in the transformation of the learning centres that engage in this programme.
What are some of the challenges of your job?
The most demanding challenge is figuring out the specific needs of every institution and being able to find the best learning solution. In some situations you have to start from scratch, and that is part of the challenge.
What are some of the most rewarding parts of your job?
Meeting different professionals and learning from them: students, teachers, coordinators, trainers…
The best part of my job is that you learn something new every day! Seeing how teachers enhance their skills and the positive consequences in their students’ learning process makes me feel like it’s worth all the time and effort. I love that shine in their eyes when they realise they really can communicate in English! Our team of trainers, who are professional experts, have key characteristics in common: they are highly motivated and hard workers. Being able to see the scenario from the school’s point of view on the one hand and the trainers’ on the other is a privilege for me.
What are some of the difficulties teachers face in the classroom? How can OUP help?
The way students learn in the 21st century is quite different from how most of us learnt at school. Teachers need to adapt to this new situation by learning new methodologies, strategies and techniques, applying learning technologies in their sessions and accommodating their knowledge and background to best suit their students’ learning needs. This challenge is one of the main reasons OUP has released the Plan Integral: through a careful analysis of the specific situation in every school, we can offer them a tailor-made plan to help them evolve, make the most of their teaching-learning process and achieve their professional objectives.
What sort of Professional Development opportunities can teachers take part in through OUP?
OUP is very much in favour of helping teachers develop professionally. In the PIEE we help them realise what their strengths are and how they can share them with their colleagues, as well as identifying those areas of improvement that should become the focus of their training.
Apart from the PIEE, we also provide open training to teachers all through Spain: from our online “Make the Most of your Coursebook” materials to our Meet the Authors face-to-face events every spring. We’ve also been delivering Spanish-specific live online seminars, our Oxford Webinars, for 5 years now! Our solid and growing workshop and course catalogue keeps evolving with the new educational trends.
What are some of your hobbies?
I love reading and going to the cinema! I’m also totally hooked on series. I love being told stories! And sci-fi is one of my favourite genres. I also practice yoga regularly: body and mind have to be taken care of!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for this opportunity! I read the Oxford Magazine every month, and I feel honoured to be interviewed.
Special thanks to Montse for taking the time to share her experience with us!