From Writing Aspiration To Teaching English  - Eastern Mirror
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From writing aspiration to teaching English 

By Moakala T Aier Updated: Feb 21, 2024 3:26 pm

Featuring Chirmi A Shimray in an exclusive interview with Eastern Mirror, sharing her experiences and tips for those aspiring to teach English in schools

From writing aspirations to teaching English 
In frame: Chirmi A Shimray
From writing aspirations to teaching English 
Chirmi A Shimray during ‘Master Trainers Adolescent Programme for Teachers

DIMAPUR — As a young girl, Chirmi A Shimray harboured dreams of becoming a famous writer. However, her perspective shifted upon returning to her hometown after completing a Master’s in Literature from Mumbai University when she encountered her uncle’s deserted school. This moment ignited a new passion within her – the desire to make a difference through teaching.

Shimray holds two teacher training degrees – Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) and Teaching English as a Foreign Language/Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TEFL/TESOL) and currently serves as the Headmistress at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Awasiya Vidyalaya, Ukhrul, Manipur. “Writing, painting, cooking, travelling, watching rom-coms and skin care routines relaxes me,” she shared.

In an exclusive interview with Eastern Mirror, Shimray shared her experiences and tips for those aspiring to teach English in schools.

What specific skills do you believe are most important for being an effective English teacher?

First and foremost is time management. Second, I believe is the ability to work well under pressure then comes adaptability – the ability to adapt and adjust with the environment and the pressures. Also for an English teacher you need to have the four basic skills: speaking, reading, writing and listening. With these fundamental language skills, you not only learn to speak well but also to listen carefully as listening results in understanding and receiving accurate information which makes it easier to teach, along with – patience, care and concern for the students.

Can you describe the typical scheme of work for an English teacher, both inside and outside the classroom?

The Scheme of Work (SOW) for any teacher falls under building trusting relationship with students, parents and colleagues, also identifying students with special requirements, creating individualized plans and imparting critical language skills, making use of all the knowledge that we learned in the process of gaining our degrees, also use innovative ideas to make the learning process more interesting and never take the digitalized system of education for granted.

From writing aspirations to teaching English 
Medical checkup for adolescent girls

Can you tell us a bit about the TESOL course?

I completed my TEFL/TESOL course from Asian College of Teachers in 2017 to teach at Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand. I gained the knowledge of certain skills like communication skill, organizational skill in order to teach vocabulary-building, grammar syntax, and cultural sensitivity on how to take sensitive approach on culture-diverse class etc. to understand each student and deal with them accordingly, and also on how digital education can bring a good impact on their learning. The course is of great help for my professional life as an educator, even now.

Can you share us specific skills or knowledge gained from your B.Ed course that benefited your role as a teacher?

Perceiving the ideas of curriculum development, lesson planning and how to execute it in the daily classroom, classroom management, innovative teaching methods, culture diverse scenarios which I also learned in TESOL and the ability to recognize an important role a teacher plays in the political and socio-cultural systems and most importantly, in the education system.

Could you share insights on career prospects for students majoring in English at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels, especially for those unsure about their post-study plans?

Here are some of the many options available for us Literature enthusiasts:

  • Writer/ author – You could be a full time author or you could also work in a publishing house if you feel you have some good stories in your head.
  • Editor – And who can write better with great creative ideas and give better headlines with eye-catching phrases and captivating headings than an English literature graduate or a post graduate with their insightful approach in language with their excellent command in English.
  • PhD – If you have the patience and the enthusiasm in you to pursue further studies after your Masters then this is for you. You can get your doctorate degree and apply for assistant professor/professor in the university of your choice.
  • Education – If you want to work as a tutor, teacher or school Principal then you need to complete your B.Ed for the first two and M.A. for the school Principal along with B.Ed. If you dare to dream big, you can even start your own school in your locality and serve the community.
  • Spoken English Trainer Online – There are many international and national companies online hiring teachers, specially looking for graduates in English literature who will pay you per hour or weekly. International trusted companies like Cambly, Preply,, Whales English etc. pay you a good amount
  • You can teach abroad in South East Asian countries where they will give you good pay compared to India. For this you need to complete your TEFL/TESOL and can be either graduate or postgraduate.

What resources or professional development opportunities do you recommend for aspiring English teachers to enhance their skills and knowledge?

STAR Educational Training, PM SHRI national workshop for headmasters in Delhi, Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) under SSA etc. to name a few. For those aspiring teachers I would suggest you to make use of the resources in Cambridge English (which I used a lot) where free webinars for teachers are available and British council where I still use it though blending it with the textbooks provided by the state board.

From writing aspirations to teaching English 
STAR Education training

Why do you think there is a perception that English is an easier subject (in Northeast India)? As an educator, can you share your perspective on this?

This is a very good question. It is very true that in Manipur, Nagaland or our Northeast region people tend to give more importance to subjects other than English as we can see that parents send their kids for Math tuitions or Science tuitions etc. but not for English. This is mainly because from an early stage a child adapts to their mother tongue and English so speaking English comes naturally but what we don’t understand is that a child needs to know all the four skills to learn a language as a subject that is why English as a subject should be improvised in schools from early childhood with phonics and then eventually turn into speaking and reading with fluency. 

Any advice for someone considering a career path in teaching English?

He/she should have a good command over the English language in all the four skills, should also consider taking B.Ed if they want to be a teacher and also have a keen sense of determination towards one’s goal and should be patient and empathetic towards children. I have seen a few former colleagues who tried teaching but left in a year as the job did not suit their idea of a career. So be sure to know if it is a job you really want. Yes, teaching is not for everybody, it requires your time, your youth, your energy and your skills all for the children and community but once you set a goal, despite everything, in the end you will outshine and then you will be at peace with yourself and the world around you. All the best!


A cherished painting of yours 

I made an oil painting of a father and his kids in the countryside back in 2012 and when I look at it now, it reminds me of my own father who passed away in 2019.

From writing aspirations to teaching English 

Your favourite place to be 

Home, with my son.

A book to make time fly by

Whenever I feel weak or let down I re-read my own book of poems ‘Raw – Perfectly Flawed‘ as a reminder to always stay strong.  I hope it does to other people and heals the readers.

Also read: Insights from Nagaland’s first Radiation Safety Officer

By Moakala T Aier Updated: Feb 21, 2024 3:26:05 pm
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