At Compass International School Doha, the staff have that determination because they want every child to be the best that they can be. They set challenging activities to make students think about what they are doing rather than just completing a series of tasks from a textbook. They look at ways to engage their students through active learning strategies and work that requires deep thought and reflection. Anyone can tell children what to think but the best teachers inspire children to be creative and develop the skills to think for themselves.
The teachers at Compass International School Doha are supported in their work through an individualised professional development programme overseen by the Director of Learning. This role supports the teachers’ learning so that they, in turn, can support their students. From leading and inspiring the academic faculty to being aware of the activities of external agencies such as the Ministry of Education and guiding the school on new initiatives, the Director of Learning does it all. So who is the man behind the title?
Simon Porter is no ordinary teacher. Having studied Physics at University, he then attended the Royal College of Music in London where he studied trumpet with David Masonm the trumpet player for The Beatles . He played professionally and taught for a local education authority before returning to teach his first love, Physics. Simon has headed departments in schools in the UK, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Norway, the USA, Poland and now in Qatar.
Simon’s musical training provides an emotional understanding of the world whilst his science background enables him to analyse and deal with the rational aspects of the job. Like the conductor of the orchestra who leads the musicians to create a symphony together, Simon’s job at Compass International School Doha is to lead the development of learning so that all the teachers are performing in perfect harmony. In a graphic demonstration of this, Simon is also the musical director and arranger for our school “Funk” band, which already has several successful performances to its credit.
Simon Porter has written extensively for The Times Educational Supplement and contributed to a recent book on “High Performance Learning” by Professor Deborah Eyre. Simon’s most recent article for The Times Educational Supplement can be viewed on-line here. Why not take a look and learn some of the strategies that the teachers use to make sure that every child can be a success?