Presenting Monica Ruda-Peachey...

This blog post is going to be a little different from what I normally post. I interviewed my good friend and esteemed colleague Monica Ruda-Peachy on her transition from an EFL teacher to an ELT content writer. I have known Monica for 8 years and we worked together for over 3 years. What has always amazed me about her as a teacher is her ability to see beyond the page and how easily she could adapt whatever materials to fit her students’ needs. Her originality and enthusiasm for teaching has always been at the forefront, so it was absolutely no surprise to me when she started writing ELT materials and articles. And now with her first book out, I checked in with her to see what it takes to become an ELT writer.

How did you transition from teacher to writer? What was your main motivation?

Well, this is quite a tough question to answer because there are several factors that have contributed to this career shift. About two years ago I suffered from burnout and I decided to leave the school life after 10 years of teaching. It was a particularly difficult choice to make as I’ve always been passionate about ELT and loved the classroom atmosphere. Part of the process of recovering and regaining my confidence was getting rid of a subtle sense of failure, and writing about it (see “Burnout: the elephant in the staffroom”, IATEFL Voices, Issue 264) gave me just that. It also made me realise that I had no intention of cutting all ties with the ELT was time for me to explore it further.

Unexpectedly, I was offered to work as a freelance consultant for Cambridge Assessment International Education, and I began to develop a taste for computer-based work. I couldn’t believe my luck when I was asked to create digital content and assessment materials to support English language learning in Cambodian schools. I enjoy writing, from articles to materials for my own lessons, but this opportunity took it to another level! I knew then that I had to pursue this career path further. I joined communities for ELT writers on social media and started to apply for relevant roles with various publishers. Work started to pick up and I