Lynn Dryden

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Insights into Lynn’s life
Hi my name is Lynn Dryden and being author of the month is a really special honour for me. I enjoyed going to school and was a well behaved pupil. I always did my best but my weakest subject was always Maths and I had to work hard in English. I would say in school I was an average pupil who was very quiet.

In primary school I had a teacher who used to teach us French for ten minutes twice a week and I lived for those lessons. There were no course books in the late 50s in our school for primary pupils, she used pictures and taught us lots of vocabulary. I owe my love of French and languages to a dedicated enthusiastic young student teacher who will sadly probably never know the impact she had on my life.

I trained and qualified as a teacher in 1974 then did my honours degree at a later date. I taught French up to GCSE level in comprehensive education for a few years, then ended up in the middle school sector as a French coordinator. My love of teaching languages to younger children and my own methods of teaching led me on to become an advanced skills language teacher of French. I believe in active learning and for me teaching any activity you can, will add to a languages lesson if it’s fun, you will be reinforcing their learning without your pupils even knowing.

I am fortunate and very happy to be a Grandma to Rosie who is now 14 and Zoe who is 11 and I often ask their opinions about some of the moves and methods I use in my languages teaching. If I need to update my dance moves they are always happy to advise and demonstrate for me and their computer skills are awe inspiring.

My earlier books, “Jouez, Dansez et Apprenez le Français” and “Learn French Through Raps” all have a fun element which helps your pupils to remember what they have learnt. I think the fact that I qualified as a dance teacher years ago has encouraged and enabled me to use a lot of different styles of dance routines, to reinforce my teaching of simple grammar and vocabulary. I currently still use Rock and Roll, Disco, Hip Hop and even line dancing routines in the class room to reinforce learning which my years 3, 4, 5 and 6 pupils enjoy doing. Although I retired more than 10 years ago, I have the privilege of still teaching for two hours every week in a local primary school where I once did a teaching practise as a student in the seventies. I still thoroughly enjoy my time in school and dare I say it, so do my pupils.

Dancing has always been a part of my life the film “Saturday Night Fever”, along with “Grease” got me into dancing. I learned stage, Hip Hop and line dancing on the way and I eventually qualified as a Dance teacher in the 80s although I don’t teach it now it has been and still is a real asset in my teaching in school today.

I sadly lost my husband a few years ago and took to walking in my spare time more just to get out of the house than for any other reason. It was then my best friend and I decided we would walk the last 116 kms of the Camino in Galicia. I had read all about it but had never dreamt that one day I would ever be strong or brave enough to do it. We had a brilliant time, tried to speak as much Spanish as we could and met people who made you feel humbled. It changed my life and convinced me that I can do anything if I put my mind to it and have faith. I wrote a book about the whole experience it’s called, “Love, Friendship and the magic of the Camino”. I really enjoyed writing about it.

I have been fortunate to write another book which I am very proud of, it is called, “In to the Great Wide Open” and it’s all about my lovely little camper van called Ruby and a fantastic trip around Scotland, that I did with my late husband. It has lots of helpful information about places and sites where we stayed and the people we met. I hope you like it if you have time to read it. Ruby is my happy place I go away on trips with my friends and we always have great fun and visit lovely places. Scarlett O Hara loved her home “Tara” and I am always happy in Ruby it’s where I get my energy from.

What I believe and what I tell my granddaughters and my pupils to do is, “to give everything you do your best shot, work hard, believe in yourself, always be kind and good things will happen.”

More information about Lynn
Lynn Dryden has been teaching French for 45 years, in that time she has been head of department and worked for 6 years as an Advanced Skills Languages Teacher in Newcastle upon Tyne. She has experience of teaching in secondary and primary schools and has taught adult evening classes. She delivers workshops for PGCE students who are studying to teach languages. Lynn is a qualified dance teacher but now enjoys dancing for pleasure, she likes being with her family and enjoys trips away in her campervan Ruby.