When did you join the RGS?
I started teaching at the RGS in September 2021.
What is your role within the RGS?
My primary role is as a Teacher of English and I have recently been appointed the RGSGI Schools Collaboration Coordinator.
What does the role of International Links Coordinator entail and why do you feel it is important to establish and develop links between our schools?
The role involves forging links between all the schools in the RGSGI family by connecting both staff and students. Encouraging teachers to collaborate across our schools is definitely an aim of mine as there is so much we can learn from each other and the specific contexts we work in. Fostering conversations between our students is also something I hope to accomplish. We live in an era in which international cooperation is essential for success in one’s professional life. Therefore, helping our students to build inter-continental relationships from a young age will only prove advantageous for them later on in life.
What about the role interested you to apply?
I was attracted to how open the brief is! It really allows me to develop ideas that will have an influence far beyond Guildford!
Have you ever experienced working abroad and if so, where were you and what was that like for you?
Yes, I taught in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. This was my first experience of teaching in an international setting and it was amazing! Needless to say, the lifestyle in the city contributed to this but what was most rewarding for me was teaching students who had an international mindset from the beginning of their secondary school careers. It was obvious they did not feel limited by political borders and aspired to study and work in locations around the world. As a Teacher of English, this provided for an outlook on works of literature that was unique and unlike anything I’d experienced in the UK.
What do you think the future of our international schools looks like?
The future is, indeed, very promising! Education is a real strength of the British economy and if we can exercise our centuries-old experience of educating the best and the brightest, then why not? While teaching Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go here at the RGS, a student once said to our class that we all strive to leave a mark on humanity. Our school’s strong reputation will enable it to accomplish just that and in a transcendental manner that positively influences young people around the globe.
What are three goals you are working towards in this role?
At the moment, I am working towards organising live assemblies between the home school in Guildford and those abroad. It would be beneficial for students to hear how their counterparts in other countries are settling into RGS life and experiencing the elements that define our values and learning habits. I am also working towards creating a podcast series in which teachers can discuss innovative pedagogies they are using in their daily practice. As teachers, we often become accustomed to using strategies in lessons that we believe to be tried and tested. However, it can be incredibly invigorating to experiment with new techniques and listening to what colleagues across the RGSGI family of schools are implementing can play a significant role in this. The third goal I’m working towards is helping to organise our first international visit. A group of students from the Dubai school will be spending some time in Guildford while visiting the UK and providing them with an authentic experience of what it is like to attend our school will be a valuable undertaking.
How do you communicate with our international schools?
We’re very fortunate to be able to communicate via email, especially when our different time zones prove a hindrance! Also, in a post-COVID era, meetings via Microsoft Teams have become normalised and enable us to work together very easily.
What do you think we can learn from our international schools?
There are many ideas we can exchange, especially in terms of our teaching techniques with regard to digital learning. The facilities in our international schools are absolutely first-rate and seeing how everyone is making use of advancements in educational technology is certainly something we can hope to incorporate into our own practice.
If anyone has an idea for links between our schools, what should they do?
Email me, stop me in the corridor or come and seek me out in the English Department office! I’m always looking for new ideas!