Jobs That Make a Difference: Senior Director, English Language Teaching
At Cengage Group, our mission-driven culture creates jobs that make a difference in the lives of learners around the world every day. From Content Developers to UX Designers, the work we do gives students the choice in how, where and what they learn. No matter what path learners take, Cengage Group employees are working to help them achieve their goals.
We spoke with Michael C., Senior Director, English Language Teaching (ELT), who shared why he takes pride in the work he does and why he’s passionate about working in education technology. During his time at National Geographic Learning, Michael has lived and worked in Singapore, Tokyo, Beijing and now Taipei, where he oversees a talented team of ELT professionals across eleven countries and regions.
How does your role and the work you do help students and learners?
As Senior Director, ELT Asia, I inform, contribute and implement our global strategy. The key to our success is our brand promise. At National Geographic Learning, our mission is to bring the world to the classroom and the classroom to life. We believe the world is an amazing place, full of real people, real places and real stories. We believe in the power of ‘real’ to spark curiosity, to drive engagement and to impact learning. We believe the English language is a tool belonging to all people that can be used to share their cultures, their communities and their stories with the world.
At National Geographic Learning, we collaborate with like-minded organizations to deliver on our mission and to help English learners prepare for their futures in school, in work and in life. Our product is designed to make an impact. Emotionally and intellectually, our materials bring the wonder and joy of learning to millions of learners around the world. When learners open our materials, and view them online, they see people who look like them using English to meet their goals and tell their stories.
What’s something you’re proud of that has impacted learners?
In the early years of my role at National Geographic Learning, I conducted numerous teacher training workshops across China, some in the most rural and underdeveloped areas at the time. I was always encouraged and humbled by instructors’ passion for putting learning first and setting the bar higher as they sought to impact the lives of their learners. Two teachers had traveled eight hours by train to attend our workshops and subsequently traveled an additional six hours to hear the same lecture just a few days later. I always think of Mr. Chen and Mr. Zhang, two kind and committed junior-high English teachers, when I ask myself why we do what we do. Inspiration surrounds us. All we have to do is open our eyes, and look.
What motivated you to work at Cengage Group and in edtech?
Growing up in semi-rural Virginia, like many, I was always fascinated by what lay beyond the horizon. After completing a course of study in international relations, I jumped at the chance to live and work abroad, first as an English language teacher and a trainer, and later as a materials developer, marketer and manager. My passion for exploring new ways of seeing and experiencing this world drives me to connect with others in order to listen and learn. The world is truly a fascinating place.
Having worked at several of our well-respected competitors, I was drawn to an organization that prided itself not on being the oldest or the biggest, but on being the most innovative. At Cengage Group, I joined a dynamic, fast-paced organization that is always looking towards the future and is driving forward with a mission to impact learners in meaningful and relevant ways.
Based on your experience, what is the strongest element of our culture?
I deeply appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit at Cengage Group that fosters a culture of experimentation and accountability. Our culture allows us to adapt quickly by putting learning first. We focus on the essential by setting the bar higher and we engage in essential conversations by being candid. Our differences empower us to do more together.
My career journey at Cengage Group is just that, a journey. There is so much to learn and experience along the way. At National Geographic Learning, we grow, stretch, regroup, realign, learn, unlearn and relearn as needs of learners and capabilities of our own organization change. Embracing the journey opens opportunities for each of us to impact millions of learners across the world each and every day.
Cengage Group employees make an impact and change the world. Here, transparency and collaboration are core values. We provide challenging careers, competitive benefits, a strong technology focus and a great team of co-workers and customers.
To learn more and apply for an open role, visit the careers section of our website.
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