My name is Philippa Kruger and I am the Head of Languages here at Education Perfect. I am also a mum to 3 girls: Abi (8), Izzy (7) and Charlotte (3) so they keep me pretty busy! I am based at our EPHQ in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Before joining the EP team, I was a French teacher and HOD Languages at various schools around NZ and ever since a young age, I always wanted to be a French teacher. I was inspired by my own French teacher at school who passed on her love of languages to me. In my early teaching days I always thought it would be great to write a textbook, but I never dreamed that I would end up where I am today.
Why I became an EPeep
I first joined the EP team back in early 2015 after having my second baby. I had been one of the first teachers to use EP in its early days and when I knew I was going to be going on maternity leave, I approached Craig Smith, the founder of the company, to see if he would hire me to do some casual work. I imagined this might be some data entry. Little did I know what this would become. The week I started, smart lessons were officially released, and I was tasked with the job of transforming the vocabulary translation platform into the full online language learning platform that you see today. The last 7 years have been quite a journey – every day has been and continues to be exciting and I am thankful on a daily basis for the amazing group of people that we work with.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
My role these days is very varied and no day is the same. It involves working with teachers all around the world and also leading the development of our languages product. My favourite part of my job is exploring new markets and discovering what they are looking for in a language learning product and seeing how we can support this.
What does a typical day look like for you in your role?
I tend to work some unusual hours which may not seem appealing, but suit me really well. I often start my working day around 5am NZT where I will often meet with teachers or colleagues in different parts of the world or I use this quiet time to get some tasks done. Then I usually take a break from about 7am- 9am to get my family sorted for the day and get them dropped off to their various locations. I spend the time that my children are at school in our Dunedin HQ office and often this time is filled with meetings with either EPeeps or teachers. I then do the after school run and all the various after school activities with my kids and then once they are in bed – I get back to work and finish my tasks for the day. It is great to have flexibility to take care of my family, but at the same time this means I am able to work with teachers and colleagues in all sorts of different time zones around the world.
Favourite feature of the platform?
As a language teacher, I love our voice recording functionality whereby students can record their speaking tasks and teachers are able to listen and give feedback, including verbal feedback. It is such a great tool for students to practise their speaking in a non-threatening way, to help them build confidence in this area of language learning which traditionally, students can find quite intimidating.
What are you most excited about?
I am super excited about an upcoming project that we are working on in the languages space. We have partnered with a company in the Netherlands who specialise in making language learning videos and this is enabling us to create some very large banks of video content as part of our EP Languages product. I am really excited to begin to release these lessons to teachers and students around the world.
What do you do in your spare time?
I don’t have very much spare time, and most of my time outside of work is spent running around after my children. Recently I decided to take up running again as a hobby in an attempt to get fit before I turn 40 in January next year. I am really enjoying setting goals with running and celebrating small milestones.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and if you would like to connect – please feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn at any point!