David Shectman, English School Budapest, Director of Education

  • 28 Sep 2016 12:00 PM
David Shectman, English School Budapest, Director of Education
After completing his initial training in music, David fell in love with teaching English to non-native speakers and has never looked back. Over the past decade, he has taught seemingly everyone: from young beginners in bi-lingual public schools to university students improving their academic English, David has taught it all. Above all else, he thrives when working with people, children in particular. David’s newest role is working in admin as the Director of Education at the English School of Budapest, a position he assumed in August, 2016.

In addition to having earned a Master’s in Piano Performance from SUNY, Stony Brook, David holds a Master’s of Education in ESL Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University. As this program is officially affiliated with United States Department of State Office for Overseas Schools, he was able to take part in specialized sensitivity training and become familiar with guidelines concerning best-practices in international education, something which guides both his teaching and administrative duties.

An avid learner of languages, David speaks exceptionally fluent Hungarian in addition to his native English. He also speaks upper-intermediate German, a language he studied when teaching English in Basel, Switzerland. When not learning languages, David is a devoted practitioner of Ashtanga-style yoga; he tries to stand on his head as frequently as possible as he feels that it helps him view the world more clearly.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
I moved to Budapest in Sept, 1997, to study piano at the Music Academy.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
I have also spent time in Basel, Switzerland, teaching English.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
Its shabby-chic nature. I remember being taken by by its faded glamour and rough, in your face, urban attitude. I still marvel at how exceptionally difficult it is to simply walk down the street, particularly when you’re in a hurry. I find it far more difficult to walk down the street here than in Manhattan, for example.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
Hit up one of the baths, grab some Hungarian wine, and wander throughout the city non-stop.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Organic butter

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
“ Trutyi “

8. What do you miss the most from home?

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
It remains a dream of mine to one day host a low-brow game show on TV.

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
Dental hygienist.

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
I helped a friend relocate to Houston, TX, and then visited my parents in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina.

12. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
I’ll be heading to Sicily for a short break next month. Also, it’s been a dream of mine for quite some time to explore Vietnam…

13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
As a teen, I listened to a lot of punk, actually - stuff like Violent Femmes and The Dead Milkmen.

14. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?
An afternoon nap over the weekend.

15. Red wine or white?
Depends entirely on the weather. I like both, actually. Rose perhaps?

16. Book or movie?
Book. My Face for the World to See by Liz Renay. Reading it truly changed my life.

17. Morning person or night person?
Night owl. No question there!

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
Accessible high-quality education

19. Buda side or Pest side?
Pest. Most definitely.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
Tune out the noise, ignore the drivel, and keep your eye on the prize.

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