Nord Anglia Education chief executive Andrew Fitzmaurice said the response from staff who completed the course was so positive he decided to enrol himself into the programme as part of the third cohort.
Not only did he want to experience a core part of NAE’s professional development offering, he said he wanted to better understand and appreciate what teachers experience too.
“Any broader understanding of the environment you’re operating in is going to be helpful,” Mr Fitzmaurice said.
Having acquired a large amount of practical experience in his role over the past 16 years, Mr Fitzmaurice said studying topics that delve into how the curricula is designed and what skills will be required by 21stcentury learners, has helped him consider the rapid growth of the international education sector and what NAE can do to help train teachers to keep pace with it.
“It’s thinking about what we are doing to make sure we not only have the right teachers, but how are we helping to develop them,” Mr Fitzmaurice said.
Jason Ng, a mathematics teacher at the British International School of Boston agrees.
“The course has made me understand more about the students and families we cater for, whether they are expatriates, locals or globally mobile families,” he said.
Those who apply for the master’s must study alongside their jobs, which includes participation in online readings and activities up to 10 hours a week, as well as webinars that are scheduled together with other staff in similar time zones. Two four-day face-to-face residentials also take place, giving the cohort from various NAE schools and offices the opportunity to meet.
“You can’t deny the benefits of being able to meet and interact with other Nord Anglia employees across the globe. I have been able to learn more about international schools simply by talking to colleagues about their own experiences within the organisation,” Ms Burgess said.
“I met so many inspiring people. People I will always be in contact with,” Mrs MacIver said.
Ms MacIver, Ms Burgess and Mr Ng are part of the first cohort of this International Education master’s programme. The entire group, which achieved a 100 per cent pass rate from the course, will be celebrating their graduation at a ceremony in London this month.
Meanwhile, the second group of students are already into the swing of things, having successfully completed their first semester and their first residentials event at KCL last month.
Also in the third cohort with Mr Fitzmaurice is George Ghantous, NAE’s Regional Managing Director for Europe and the Middle East region.
He said the first three months of the course has already helped him to recognise the complexities of a school operation and how to better support school staff — given that the demographics of students and families are changing.
“The experience teachers go through as they embark on an international education career, it’s quite an eye-opener, they need a lot of support,” Mr Ghantous said.
“They may feel homesick for example, so it’s good to pair them with buddies to answer their questions and to try and make them feel at home as much as possible.”