From a professor of languages to a professor of life
Hello and welcome!
My name is Jelena Ilić, and I was born in Belgrade, Serbia.
In this, quite long 🙂 journey of mine, I have collected so much knowledge and experience, that you may actually find helpful or, at least amusing.
I was a smart kid. The one that never needs or asks for any help, but always brings home top grades and the first or second prizes at all sorts of competitions in writing, acting, mathematics, painting, or even singing! Therefore, nobody used to help me, except my brother, a math genius, who made me appreciate and love mathematics so much.
I really wanted to learn how to play the piano, but nobody paid attention, or to study more languages, but there was never enough time for that. My teachers used to drag me around assuming that I enjoyed competing. They did not bother to explain that being good at everything, was leading straight to nothing.
The first time when I fought for myself and started doing something that I really liked was at the age of 14 when I enrolled a dancing school for Latin and Ballroom dances. Since then dancing has been one of my greatest passions.
Thanks to my top grades, I got into one of the best high schools in Belgrade and my hunger for knowledge started growing. In order to enable myself to take all the courses I wanted, I started teaching languages and earning the necessary funds.
I attended several courses on personal growth and mind control, on memory techniques, and a course for TV and radio presenters, where, as their best candidate, I got the opportunity to start working immediately. I had a new source of income and a vague image of my future profession, so I enrolled the Faculty of Economics.
Surrounded by people with very different view of life and moral perceptions, after two quite successful years, I decide to leave the world of media, but also the Faculty of Economics, because without that job, studying it had no sense for me anymore.
What a shock for the family of a “brilliant, promising” kid! Luckily, it was then when I recognized my real passion and what I really wanted to do in my life. Giving private lessons while studying I managed to graduate from the Faculty of Philology and became a professor of Italian language and literature.
I started working as a teacher in a couple of schools for foreign languages, and I soon realized that my own teaching methods were much more productive and amusing than the traditional ones, so I decided to start running my own school. It was a fantastic experience. I was able to implement all my creativity, to follow the particular needs of my students, to create inspiring associations to explain new words, to invent stories and fairy tales to clarify grammar issues.
My students did not only stand out in their knowledge of languages, but they also started using my methods for other subjects at school. I changed their attitude towards learning in general.
Their number kept growing, but my time stayed limited. I needed more teachers, but even if they learned how to use my method, it was not enough. It required inventiveness at the moment, huge positivity and enthusiasm, all at the same time.
Since so many people asked me to put my method on the paper, and to try to implement it in schools, I did some of the work. However, the process was very slow because I needed to take care of my family at the same time and for years I worked 9 hours a day, 6 days a week, with always growing list of students, waiting to start attending my lectures.
I also needed to have some fun and to travel which is another great passion of mine. In the meantime, I got married, and got my adorable son.
Every extra penny and every single holiday we spent travelling and creating mutual, everlasting memories. We visited more than 25 countries in Europe and hundreds of towns.
The vast majority of people around me would call this a dream life. However, I know that I have to decrease my working hours sooner or later, but also that I have to find a way to leave all my knowledge and experience to the world.
That’s why my online journey with its immense potential has begun. Will you keep me company?