Experts at NCC: Mafalda Giudice

Experts at NCC: Mafalda Giudice


What subject do you teach?

I teach ESOL to 16–18s.

Why is your subject relevant?

The goal is to prepare students for success in school and in society through the development of cultural awareness and English language competency. ESOL has a bearing on how students advance both inside and outside the college. Many of the 16- to 18-year-olds I have taught are still enrolled at New City College, either studying for their GCSEs or participating in a vocational programme. Others have continued on to pursue higher education.

What’s the best thing about teaching?

Observing students’ development, the skills they pick up along the way, and their appreciation for your work are the best parts of teaching. The lightbulb moments, the belly laughs in the staff room and classroom, and the encouraging words from colleagues and students serve as frequent reminders of why I selected this line of work.

Teaching teenagers keeps you youthful and up to speed with the times, and no day is ever the same!

How did you get into teaching?

I came to the UK about 17 years ago, after gaining a degree in Modern Languages in Italy. As I already had a good knowledge of English, I found myself supporting people navigate a new life, language and culture in London (and that was while I was working as a customer assistant at Stansted airport). I remember helping tourists, but also friends and people who came to the UK, like me, that needed English in order to integrate and find better opportunities. I started giving private tuition, but then I thought ‘why not get a teaching qualification and do this for a living?’ I went on a CELTA (teaching certificate) course full time, and a few years later completed the DELTA (teaching diploma). I started teaching EFL, and then ESOL for small training providers in East London. I have been working at NCC now for 10 years.

What is it like to work at New City College?

It is like being part of a big family. You build great relationships with students, colleagues and the wider community. It is a multicultural place where equality and diversity are celebrated. It is amazing how supportive people are around here!

What advice would you give to an early career teacher?

Take any opportunity to improve your practice. You are always learning and evolving as a teacher. You are not the same now as you will be in 5 or 10 years. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and work with people who challenge you to be better.

What has been your biggest teaching challenge?

Teaching during the pandemic was difficult because we had to quickly adjust to a new manner of teaching, and it seemed quite lonely at times. I had to spend a lot of time and effort digitising my existing resources, and it was difficult to keep the students interested. From behind a screen, how could a teacher differentiate instructions and tailor a curriculum? How could you persuade students to turn on their cameras during a live virtual session rather than teaching to a Teams icon?

What has been your biggest achievement?

Having evolved as a teacher after the pandemic. I have started to listen to the ways in which students like to learn, the importance of building trust and connecting on a personal level is key to engaging students.

Who has inspired you the most?

Definitely my colleagues. They are all so dedicated to their profession, and they genuinely care about students’ progress and their well-being. In ESOL we go by ‘sharing is caring’. In fact, teachers share their resources, teaching practice and teaching tips. It is just great!