1) What do you love most about teaching Early Years?
I love how the learning is led by the childrens’ interests. For example, when learning addition last week, the Lego loving children added bricks, others were enjoying playing the kitchen corner so we added cakes, others enjoyed using paint to print groups of objects to combine. The objective is the same but the children are learning in a way that is appealing to them. I also love the childrens’ enthusiasm at this age, there’s no such thing as a dull day!
2) What is your educational background, both academically and career wise?
I have a B.Ed Hons. from Trinity College Dublin. My first job was as Acting Principal in the National Childrens’ Hospital School in Dublin which was an interesting role and a steep learning curve. From there, I taught Senior Infants (5-6 years old) and Year 5 for 5 years in Dublin. Then I moved to Mumbai where I got a job as Language Quality Consultant in a call centre before moving to Shanghai in 2012, and I’ve been teaching here since then. It’s been varied!
3) What has been the most memorable experience to date in your career?
Moving to BISS Puxi and being part of a big team has probably been my most memorable experience. The schools I have worked at in Ireland have been small, so I was on my own when it came to planning lessons and the day to day running of my year group. The experience of planning and teaching alongside a team of 5 or 6 highly skilled teachers has been of huge influence to me.
And now for some light-hearted questions
4) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’m a home-bird at heart so if I had endless resources, I would love a house with a sea view over Dublin Bay.
5) If you could get a selfie with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Having recently had a chat with Bono outside the bathrooms of a Dublin restaurant I can’t help but regret not asking him for a selfie... he may have said no and that would have ruined the moment, but I’ve since been lectured in the risk vs. reward theory!
6) If you weren’t a teacher, what alternative career path do you think you would have taken and why? I’d love to think I could be an architect or an interior designer but for now I’ll just keep browsing the magazines!
7) If you could choose one actresses to star as you in a film, who would you choose and why? I recently watched ‘Brooklyn’ and loved it; I reckon Saoirse Ronan could do my accent authentically!
8) What’s your favourite restaurant in Shanghai? I love Mercato for a night on the Bund and Din Tai Fung for dumplings.
9) What 3 things could you not live without in Shanghai? My family, my Ayi, VPN.
10) What is your favourite book of all time? I love a good Crime Thriller on holidays; the last really good book I can remember was ‘I Am Pilgrim’ by Terry Hayes.
Thank you for your time Ms Hamilton.
Ryan Kealey, Marketing and Events Manager