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So, in this week’s blog, I thought I’d share some facts about being an online English teacher, so you can all get to know me a bit better, other than just the ‘Teacher Cat’ side!

1 – I love Pandas! 

If you haven’t noticed in my teacher background pictures and videos, I have pandas everywhere! I have been obsessed with pandas for as long as I can remember and have all sorts of panda paraphernalia. I have panda stationery, teddies, cushions, clothes, and accessories including a couple of hats! I have even been able to work with pandas when I visited China back in 2017, where I spent 2 weeks working as a volunteer at the Bifengxia Panda Sanctuary in Ya’an, Chengdu province. This was an amazing experience, where I got to feed them, clean out their enclosures and study their behaviours. I have also been able to visit the 2 pandas at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland. I love buying panda stationery for my classroom and have notebooks, pens, and lots of panda teddy’s I use in my lessons as props for the children’s classes. 

Facts about English Teacher Catherine Kilbane

2 – I love to travel

At the start of this year (2019), I was due to spend a year in China teaching as well as travelling around China and Asia when I could, however Coronavirus had other ideas. Pre Covid-19, I loved to travel, and plan to get back exploring as soon as it’s safe to do so. I have travelled around a lot Europe visiting a lot of the capital cities as well as some of the smaller cities and towns. I have also travelled around the east coast of America from Vermont & New Hampshire all the way down to Florida. When I was in China, I spent 2 weeks travelling before my volunteering experience. In China I visited Chengdu, Beijing, Xi’an & Sanya – each city completely different to the last. I am hoping to pick up travelling again towards the end of 2021, and plan to explore the different regions Asia has to offer. 

3 – I’m currently based in Manchester

I’ve lived all across the North West of England for the last 15 years including Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside & Greater Manchester and I have been living in Manchester city centre since the end of 2019. I love living in the city. Everything is right on your doorstep, and there is such a great selection of local businesses to support for all your needs, whether it’s food deliveries, takeaways, clothing, or gift ideas. There are so many great local restaurants to try too, and endless bakeries with cakes, chocolates and freshly made bread on offer. There is so much to explore too, both in the city and a short drive out. 

Facts About Online English Teacher Catherine Kilbane

4 – I’m a bit of a geek

Most of my friends and family who follow me on my personal pages will know how much of a geek I am! I love anything Marvel related and have watched all the Marvel Universe films – multiple times! I love to treat myself to Marvel merchandise every now and then, including buying Marvel stationery to use when I am lesson planning and doing my teacher admin. I am also a big Star Wars fan and have been really enjoying the new Mandalorian series. 

5 – I’m a keen runner and love to be outdoors

Whenever I am not teaching or I have a bit of down time, I love to get outside for a walk or run. I have been running on and off for the last 5/6 years and have met some amazing people and made some lifelong friends through the different run clubs I’ve been part of. I am currently part of a local run club in Manchester which has been great, especially during lockdown and the various restrictions. Being able to explore different parts of the city and catch up with different people each week has been really enjoyable. It’s great to get away from the computer or phone screen too and get some fresh air. I love getting to the water when I can too, whether it’s to the beach or the river or a local lake or reservoir. Being outdoors and away from technology and the buzz of the city is really peaceful, and  I think it’s really important to make sure to take a time out and make time for you in between teaching or whatever your day-to-day routine looks like.