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Rachel O'Neil


Year 6 Leader

I was born in a small town in Scotland, exactly in the middle of Glasgow and Edinburgh. I attended Aberdeen University where I gained a bachelor's degree in Primary Education. While studying, I worked in Spain every summer. This experience inspired me to take my teaching career further afield. After completing my initial teaching year in Scotland, I went on to teach in Dubai for the past seven years. I taught a range of classes from Early Years to Year 6.


Living in Dubai was an amazing hub for my travel addiction; I have now visited 59 countries, six continents, six Wonders of the World, and every Disneyland Park around the globe! I love adventure and have enjoyed trying many new experiences such as sky diving, scuba diving with sharks, and paragliding in Rio (to name a few). I am very excited to now live in Chicago and can’t wait to explore a new city as well as more of the United States!

I have a true passion for teaching and learning, always striving to prepare students with skills they can use out of the classroom. I believe learning should be meaningful and fun; children should be surrounded by relevant experiences that they can truly make sense of. Within my class, children understand the importance of having a growth mindset. They know that they will face challenges but can prepare themselves to overcome these and be successful learners. The children in my class take pride in their achievements as well as their mistakes, knowing that it is not the mistakes that matter, but how they deal with and learn from them. They know the true reality of seeing a finished product and recognizing that it probably came with many failed attempts before its perfection. They learn to truly understand the process of learning and are prepared to work hard to achieve their own targets. I believe that no ceiling should ever be put on a child’s ability. They need to believe anything is possible with hard work, resilience, and a positive mindset. They need challenge and must develop a love for learning. I look for those shining eyes when the children are so engaged and motivated that they can’t wait to get to school each day. That is one of the most rewarding things about this job and the reason I teach: to have a lasting effect on every child who enters my class. When children enjoy their learning, they feel safe to push outside their comfort zone and reach their full potential.

  • Universities Attended: Aberdeen University

  • Degrees Earned: Bachelor of Education

  • Certifications Earned: Bachelor of Education (hons)