We have an amazing team of inspirational teachers here at the British School of Beijing, Sanlitun, all of whom are passionate about teaching and learning and ensuring each and every one of our students make exceptional progress.
This week, we interviewed Iva Borisavljevic, the Performing Arts teacher and Choir Conductor, who talks about her teaching life at BSB Sanlitun and more!
Q: Why did you decide to teach at BSB Sanlitun?
A: I have always wanted to experience teaching within the British curriculum as I had previous experience teaching in International, Australian and Montessori systems. I feel like it was a ‘love at first sight’ as I actually came in as a parent to meet the Admissions and Marketing team and look for a place for my older child.
Q: What is your role at BSB Sanlitun?
A: I am a Music Teacher and Choir Conductor, working in the Performing Arts Department.
Q: Describe a day in your life at school.
A: Every day is very busy as I actually teach Music in both Early Years and Primary. Each day I see around 130 children, in regular lessons. I run Choir Rehearsals during lunch breaks and often after school, and work with my team on performance plans, costumes, stage set ups, sound and music arrangement, choose repertoires, and plan lessons, etc. We collaborate with colleagues from The Juilliard School in New York, and often host their visits or more recently virtual meetings. Before Covid-19, we had many performances around town and I used to take the Choir children to different places and hotels where we performed in the evening - we would do stage rehearsals and all the preparations for our evening performances.
Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching?
A: Choir rehearsals and conducting performances. I love seeing the children on stage and being able to give them an opportunity to grow their confidence and actually be able to take that big risk of being on stage in front of someone in order to showcase their talent. Being a conductor feels like you have a special power, it’s almost like having a magic wand, as you create, control and shape the sound of that many voices all at the same time. It’s a unique experience when you see your ensemble in front of you and recognise the trust that they have in you as they let you lead and shape the music that they are actually producing. It’s wonderful and magical.
Q: Tell us about your life outside of school?
A:I have two wonderful kids, a boy and a girl and my teaching passion continues even outside of school. I enjoy doing my best to be a good parent but also a teacher to my kids. They are both my big inspiration and support, because they help me be constantly on track with the world of a child. Through my kids, I never forget what is it like being a child and they motivate me in creating my activities and even choosing songs, activities, scenes and stories that fit in with their new, modern age. Because of the fact that both of them are very different ages, and they have completely different interests, I get to understand even more and I’m able to switch quickly from one to another year group’s way of thinking in school, and back home, too. Having to raise and look after two kids and commit my professional life to teach and raise other kids, makes me always think of the endless power of love and a circle of life.