Sanja Župan Vuković from Zagreb, Croatia grew up in a home where learning new cultures and languages were part of life. Her mother is an English teacher and “spoke English to us from very early on so we often spoke English amongst each other, switching seamlessly from Croatian to English.”
The bright, enthusiastic young woman was excited when as a student; she came across an online ad looking for English speakers who are creative, describing herself perfectly! Sanja was not familiar with Helen Doron, but quickly understood that this was the ideal career for her and now in her 4th year of teaching babies from 8 months old all the way up to Teen Talent courses. She has additionally taken on the role of Learning Centre Franchisee.
Without a doubt, this job is hard to compare to any other. I worked for the United Nations Development Programme and later for a World Bank project implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection. As great as these experiences were, neither of those jobs encompassed as many of my skills and ambitions as this one does. Sitting in an office in front of a computer for hours on end can never be as uplifting and fulfilling as teaching and creating props and seeing smiles on children’s faces is to me. Yes, sometimes it’s hard, but most of the time I can’t believe my luck.”
She went on to explain why the Helen Doron method works better than more traditional techniques. “Helen Doron English classes are incomparably better. Our courses are full of different activities – from singing to role-playing, from colouring to reading, from discussing different topics to competing in solving problems—and all that in English. Even with the youngest children, we don’t translate, we demonstrate. The children are immersed in the English language so they learn more quickly, without effort. We encourage and praise them, using only positive reinforcement…and it works!”
Why did Sanja decide to become a franchisee? “Born to an English teacher and an Economist, I like to joke that this was meant to be my career from the beginning. It wasn’t always apparent, but career paths often seem like a weird maze no one has a map for, until you finally realise you’re equipped with the right experience and tools you need to finally take charge.
Of course, luck is also an important ingredient. Last school year I became aware that I was comfortable with all aspects of being a Helen Doron teacher. I knew I was doing my job well.. Having a boss who tells you ‘good job’ and means it, who respects you and laughs with you – is a great advantage. At the end of the school year, she asked if anyone was interested in becoming a franchisee for the Samobor area. I saw my opportunity and grabbed it with the full support of my family.. And so here I am. I hope I’ll continue to do well and one day have my own employees who are as happy at their workplace as the children who attend Helen Doron English classes are.“