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Meet the Teacher #2: David Burke shares his passion for STEAM

Let’s meet our second teacher of our “Meet the Teacher” series: Mr. David Burke shares about his passion for STEAM and how he develops a global perspective to inspire his students.

David Burke

David Burke, our Design & Technology teacher, joined BIS Hanoi at the start of the 2020-2021 academic year. He soon became known for his passion for STEAM and his enthusiastic teaching attitude. David studied for his PGCE in Scotland and praises the Scottish education system’s development of students into confident, life-long learners. Therefore, when asked the question: “What inspired you to join BIS Hanoi?”, David answered straight away: “The core value of Scottish education system is very much in line with Nord Anglia.” David was also enthused to work in Hanoi following a world trip a few years ago, during which Vietnam cemented itself as one of his favourite countries.

David values the independent learning approach of STEAM and believes it allows students to follow their own interests within each project. He explained, “Learning STEAM is taking what you learned from other subjects and bringing it all together.”

Before joining BIS Hanoi, David taught at Prague British International School (another Nord Anglia school), and it was here he first experienced the benefits of the NAE’s MIT collaboration. David believes that to inspire the students, a teacher needs to have a global perspective and apply it to their teaching, so he collaborates with teaching professionals from other schools and MIT. “The main benefit I experience from teaching at BIS Hanoi is the communication and collaboration I get through Nord Anglia University and Global Campus. On these online platforms, you can share and adapt teaching ideas, resources with other teachers from around the world who come from different backgrounds and cultures, or you can even have professional dialogues between different educators.” David hopes that all the learning outputs he develops at BIS Hanoi can also inspire teachers across the globe.

David engages his students by making them feel comfortable and happy in the classroom. He is known by the students as a talented, funny teacher and they love coming to his class. “If you can make the students laugh, they will engage more with the project. So, I like when I have a little inside-joke with the class and see them laughing then actively participate in learning”.

Outside the school, David is also an out-going person who loves travelling the world.

David Burke

Let’s get to know him more:

If you could be a student in another BIS teacher’s class for one day? Who would you pick and why?

We never did many experiments when I was in school, so I’d like to attend one of Mr. Cuckson’s Science lessons. I saw video of him doing an experiment with a water bottle full of gas, showing how it expands and its impact of the bottle - it almost blew up! It would be very exciting to join his class with lots of great things to learn!

If you won the lottery and decided to give up teaching, what would you do instead?

I love creating. I love working with my hands. When I lived in the Czech Republic and Scotland, I had my own workshop and I went there during the weekend to create different objects. So, yeah, I guess if I was lucky enough to win the lottery, I would just go live in the woods, walk the hills and make different bits and pieces in my own workshop.

But that is my retirement plan! I still love teaching, especially teaching kids how to use their hands. I’m very proud to see them gain confidence with what they can do with their hands. 

What one piece of advice would you give students?

There are things you can’t affect in life, but education is what you can affect. If you have a good education, you can literally go anywhere, and a lot of opportunities will come to you. I love travelling the world and working in different countries, but I couldn’t have done that if I didn’t have a good education. Enjoy school; school is fun!

If you could take the students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, where would you take them?

I’d love to bring the kids to Japan because I love Japan! Another idea would be camping in Iceland: an amazing country. It’s really fun to take students on field trips because you get to see them in a different light, and they see their teachers in a different light too. I think that if you take children to the wild, make them camp, sleep in a tent, farm their own food and go on excursions! 

Actually, I really want to do the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. I’ll go on those trips when it’s possible to travel again!

BIS Hanoi Communications team & Ms Niobe Shaw (Primary Teacher)

Want to know about the STEAM curriculum at BIS Hanoi?

Primary STEAM