The Personal Touch at Kaplan Boston Fenway
Kaplan International is known for the quality of its teaching method and the success of its students, but another thing setting us apart is the personal attention and warm welcome of the Kaplan teachers. We spoke with teachers and faculty at Kaplan Boston Fenway to see what it is that makes our staff unique.
One thing students will notice at Boston Fenway is a familiar face poking into the classrooms from time to time, or else walking through the hallways at break time. Alain Cabache, the Director of the school and Regional Manager of Boston, makes it a habit to get to know the students and make sure he’s more than just a mysterious authority figure.
“It's easy for a director or a manager to lock themselves in their office and only deal with the negatives,” he says. “That's not my style. I like to know the students, I like to try to get to remember their names. I like to stick my head into classes in the mornings, in the afternoons, say hi to people when I see them in the hallway, just get to know them as friends and invite them to come and just say hi. I think the students like it, and I certainly enjoy doing it… That's my personality.”
Coming from an international background, Alain can relate to all the s
tudents spending time far from home. The son of an Egyptian father and Italian mother, he was born in the US and grew up in England, and moved around a lot as a child. As a result, he’s grown accustomed to meeting people from all over the world, and sees Kaplan as a wonderful place for people from all different backgrounds and nationalities to come together and connect.
The teachers at the school expressed a similar passion for meeting students from all different backgrounds and trying to make them feel at home in new environment. Many of them have spent time abroad themselves, teaching or traveling in faraway places and gaining a firsthand experience what it’s like to be in a foreign place. Paul, for instance, taught in the Ukraine for a time and was in the Peace Corps, while Drew taught English classes to middle schoolers in France.
Andrea began her career as a kindergarten teacher, but, knowing that she had a passion for teaching English to non-native speakers, she started teaching adults in the evenings.
“After a full day of little ones, I'd go and teach—I'd be exhausted—but as soon as I walked in the classroom I felt invigorated, just because they were so enthusiastic about learning English. And I think that pretty much translates to having students really want to learn from you.” Eventually, she decided to stop teaching kindergarten and focus her energies on teaching international students. “Just having them come to you for questions about everything… it's pretty amazing being able to feel like I've traveled around the world sitting in my chair.”
Andrea has even written letters of recommendation for students who, after studying with Kaplan, have decided that they don’t want to leave Boston, and found a university program perfect for them in their new home away from home.
Simone, who has taught English in Brazil in the past and has been teaching the language for a total of 25 years, highlights the contact with students as her primary goal.
“I like to see the transformation most of all, to see a student that comes to me – regardless of the level… in about 10 weeks I see the student’s improvements, and I can see that the student is speaking, incorporating everything that they learned in class in terms of grammar, in terms of vocab, and they're using it in a natural way… This is the most important thing, the most rewarding thing that I see.”
Stories just like these can be heard from teachers and staff at Kaplan's English schools around the world. Look into finding the location perfect for you, and maybe you’ll hear a few stories firsthand!