I love teaching, and music has always been a big part of my life. Combining the two is a perfect marriage! Music is an international language and enables children to develop the crucial skills of creativity, self-confidence and teamwork. Music improves their co-ordination, memory and intellectual curiosity. It stimulates their imagination and shapes character. I believe music transcends barriers and helps pupils to gain life-long skills that then impact on their achievement in all other parts of the curriculum.
I completed my teacher training in the Netherlands in 2003, and completed a one-year course focused on meeting the special educational needs of pupils with language, reading, behaviour and numeracy difficulties. After attending the Conservatoire to enhance further my music skills, I taught music in a number of different schools in the Netherlands for a few years.
My next teaching post was in Aruba, a small country on the northern most tip of South America, where I stayed for five years. This small idyllic island had a diverse range of pupils from different social backgrounds, and I witnessed at first-hand how education can transform lives.
After five years in Aruba, I moved to teach in Dubai. This provided me with a detailed insight into a large international school and enabled me to learn about life in the United Arab Emirates. I was able to share my enthusiasm for music with pupils from many different cultures and backgrounds. My experience of organising whole-school events there, sometimes involving as many as 1500 pupils, allowed me to see how music could bring these pupils together and helped to create a real sense of community.
After four years in Dubai, I moved to England. The lush greenery of Yorkshire and the Peak District was quite a change from Dubai! I taught in a range of schools in the area, and learned much about the British education system. This helped me to develop further my understanding of the British curriculum and to experience different types of schools.
Within the classroom, my approach is very much one of promoting collaboration and team work. Creativity is vital for success in the global workplace and needs to be nurtured and not imposed. I encourage pupils to explore and express their ideas, and challenge them to develop their skills and understanding further.
Outside of school, my love of music continues. My specialist instrument is the flute, although I also enjoy playing the piano and saxophone. I have played in various jazz bands and classical concerts, and have been part of several choirs in a number of different countries. I have a keen interest in outdoor pursuits, such as walking, running and cycling. I also enjoy reading.
I am enjoying being back in the UAE and love the school and the sense of community here. It is a fantastic school and I am proud to be part of the team here!