Interview with Lizzie Simpson

Lizzie Simpson teacher | LuckyKids

What is your full name?

Lizzie Simpson

Are you married?

Nope! (But I have a very lovely Bulgarian partner) 🙂

Where are you from?

I’m from England; I grew up near a small historical town called Leighton Buzzard, which is 1 hour north east of London.

What made you move to Bulgaria?

I studied with a Bulgarian friend at university and she called me out of the blue, to ask if I would consider working in an English kindergarten in Sofia. 7 Days later I was on the plane, 8 days later I started working at Tuti Kindergarten in Lozenetes, Sofia! It was just a temporary job but I enjoyed it a lot so decided to stay.

How long have you lived here now?

2.5 Years! It’s going so fast!

Where do you live now?

Up in the mountains near Svoge on a little farm with a 28 year old donkey, 3 dogs, 2 cats and my partner. (We had chickens too! but they all got gobbled up by Mr Fox)

Do you like living here? If so what do you like most and what don’t you like?

Yes! Most of all I love the sunshine and the nature! I had never experienced real seasons before coming to Bulgaria! I love that Bulgaria still has wild spaces; something we don’t really have in England, the ability to camp for free still amazes me as do the waterfalls, thermal springs and the landscapes!

I also love the people; I’ve met so many inspiring people here during my stay. The people that I’ve met have had a deep impact on the way I think and feel about the world, I have seen so many examples of generosity and kindness that made me rethink my own priorities.

And I don’t like… navigating Bulgarian bureaucracy!

Where do you work?

  • Crop Permaculture Farm
  • British Craft Club
  • Private English tutor
  • Freelance Illustrator

Do you like where you work?

Like you wouldn’t believe! I love the variation of having many jobs!

I work and live at Crop farm during the week. Me and my partner are looking after the mountain farm full-time. Our job includes; renovating old cob buildings, looking after animals, wood-working, gardening, hosting volunteers from around the world and running an Airbnb accommodation. So grateful to have such a fun, nature-filled job.

I come to Sofia once a week to teach/play at the British Craft Club (which I founded at the end of 2017.) Every Saturday we embark on a different craft project (in English of course) with children from 4-7 years old. I like this ‘job’ a lot; It brings a lot of satisfaction, laughter and a big smile to my face every weekend. I also teach private English lessons (1 to 1) at the weekend.

As well as working on a farm, the British Craft Club & private teaching I also take on Illustration & Graphic Design commissions which I work on, up in the mountain in the sunshine.

Why did you choose teaching?

I didn’t really choose it, It just happened. I never knew I’d enjoy it so much; I’ve always loved children and their playful nature. I guess it’s a way to never grow up!

What experience do you have?

Kindergarten Teacher Tuti kindergarten, Sofia, Bulgaria

Before moving to the mountains I was a teacher at Tuti kindergarten (In Sofia) for two years. The job gave me an enormous amount of satisfaction. I was responsible for 18 Bulgarian three year olds, we had such an adventure! Spending every day with the same children and watching them develop and learn was an amazing experience.

Forest school assistant Boot-up, Cornwall, UK

Assisting the forest school leader to provide an outdoor learning experience for vulnerable children in the care-system. Activities included cooking, making fires, building dens and lots of art projects.

Arts leader for primary schools, Falmouth University Cornwall, UK

Leading art sessions in English Primary schools for Falmouth University as part of a scheme to encourage more local children to consider studying at university. Sessions included screen printing bags, making animations, puppets and theatre.

Which aspects do you like best about teaching?

I like how playful & creative it is! I feel like I can be my full-silly-self and get away with it. I like the creative challenge of creating engaging lessons with role-play and games.

Do you think teaching is rewarding?

It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever done. How could it not be rewarding? From making a child laugh to hearing them make an English sentences for the first time, every day comes with it’s different rewards.

Would you recommend teaching as a career?

I guess that depends if you love children! I don’t think it’s for everyone; you need an extreme level of patience and a lot of energy to keep things interesting and fun especially for the little ones!

Your life story, in your own words:

Life so far, has been on ongoing adventure! I had a cheerful childhood and at 19 I left home to study Contemporary Crafts at Falmouth University, (woodworking, ceramics, textiles, glass and metal work). Far away from home, surrounded by creative people, I was really in my element. After graduating I remained in Cornwall and moved into an ecological co-housing community where I developed a lot of practical skills, built a small house with 2 other women and made strong friendships. The time came for adventure and here I am, In Bulgaria, having the best adventure I could of hoped for. I plan to remain in beautiful Bulgaria for the foreseeable future.