Aile Nõupuu: I also evolve due to my adult learners
I am a 59-year-old teacher. I have worked in a vocational school for nearly 30 years. Today, I teach photography, design of advertising materials, and online marketing to adults in Haapsalu. Realizing that I wanted to train adults, I gave up my long-term position as development director and founded my company, AileN Koolitused, in early 2022. I just became the laureate of Läänemaa Educator of the Year and Educator of the Year 2022 special award.
My path to becoming an educator started as a hobby. I liked to take pictures, and since I live in the countryside, I took a lot of pictures of nature. This was noticed by my colleagues from the Haapsalu Vocational Education Center, and I was offered a job as a nature photography teacher specializing in nature tourism management. By that time, I had completed beginner's photography training at Haapsalu Folk University and had acquired my first SLR camera. It was my first time teaching adults, and I enjoyed it. The first learners asked why we don't have a Know your camera! training for beginners in the school. This is how my evening photography training began.
Over the course of ten years, the number of subjects in which I teach photography and online marketing to adults has grown, as well as the number of evening courses. I like to share my skills and knowledge with students, which excites me. First, I develop myself by preparing and supplementing learning materials to make the training good and interesting. I learn a lot from the internet, for example, on e-courses or YouTube.
I also evolve due to my adult learners, who come to the training with different knowledge and life experience. I can learn from them, and the next time I do a similar training, I will be richer in some vital nuances to share with my students.
In the spring of 2022, I applied for the 7th level of the adult educator profession, and the portfolio prepared for this purpose was a good opportunity to analyze myself as an adult educator and to think about my strengths and development needs. I like to teach adults. They are good and eager learners who are highly motivated; they ask, comment and supplement, and by learning and teaching together, we share our experiences. If I have trained different groups during a long day and come home in the evening, I rarely am tired but full of energy.