This week, we caught up with the wonderful Maiken Hutchings, EFL Teacher and Assistant Team Leader at Inspire Education. Maiken has been part of the Inspire family for many years now. She’s been particularly integral in expanding the Global Citzenship Course, which is a compulsory part of our Summer School. In the meantime, Maiken also works as a Placement Coordinator for an English Language company in the UK, matching students with hosts to offer them an immersive language programme. Thus, if anyone knows a thing of two about teaching English, Maiken’s your woman!
Let’s find out what Maiken had to say…
What were you like at school?
I was quite shy; in fact, I wasn’t particularly good at school. I only started paying attention at age 13 or 14. I also grew up in a tiny place in Denmark with a population of only 1,500, so it was quite a unique environment.
When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Most people where I grew up became either hairdressers or worked in offices, and I knew I didn’t want to do that. But I never actually had a dream of what I wanted to be. I toyed with the idea of being an actress for a year…
Who inspires you now, and why?
I’m reading a lot about mindfulness at the moment. So, I would say Jon Kabat-Zinn, who’s taught me about being more mindful in everyday life, and the Dalai Lama, who’s taught me more about compassion.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
I’d like to fly like they do in The Snowman.
Favourite English phrase?
I like ‘with all due respect’ because everyone knows that there’s an insult to follow! Also, my Gran always says ‘delicious, delightful, delovely’, which I just love.
If you were stranded on a Desert Island, which 3 things couldn’t you live without?
A compendium of mixed works by different authors; a musical instrument, so that I would have something to do; and a First Aid Kit, because it’s practical.
What is your greatest strength?
What is your weirdest quirk?
I eat weird combinations of food, especially at buffets where I eat things together that aren’t ‘supposed to go together’.
What is your biggest fear?
Being in a job that I hate and waking up 10 years later, only to think, ‘what went wrong?’
Favourite Disney character?
Mulan… and also Mushu from Mulan – such strong-willed and awesome characters.
Last book you read?
Wherever you go, There you are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
If you could visit a fictional place, where would you go and why?
Either into my favourite book The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, because it’s told from the perspective of a dog. Or, into the world of Wonder by R. J. Palacio, that tells the story of a boy who is disformed and who is in his first year at school. I’d like to hang out with him.
What are you most excited about for the future?
I’m excited to constantly discover new things about myself, and how to deal with difficult situations.
Best memory from Inspire Education?
Seeing students returning again and again, and chatting to new students straight away. I love to see what’s changed over the course of a year.
Favourite Inspire trip?
Punting in Oxford – messing about in boats, even in the rain!
Favourite Inspire night?
Best advice to offer prospective Inspire students?
Overcome any fear and go for it! Try and make new friends even if you’re nervous because everyone is scared initially. So push yourself to speak to someone that might be struggling more than you are and support them.
Finally, Lion, Tiger or Wolf?
Have a burning question for the Inspire Team? Post your comment on our Facebook page Inspire Summer or on Twitter @InspireSummerUK