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Helen’s story: inspired to teach

“I will be forever grateful to BIS HCMC for inspiring me to become a teacher, and more importantly an international teacher.” – Helen Kinder, Music Intern at BIS HCMC.

Helen Kinder - Inspired to Teach BIS HCMC

Helen Kinder dipped her toe into the wonderful world of teaching as a Music Intern here at the British International School, Ho Chi Minh City. Now the Head of Music and Girls Boarding House at Malvern College Qingdao, China, Helen describes how her experience at BIS HCMC encouraged her to return to university and pursue a successful career in international teaching.

Describe your journey to becoming a qualified teacher?

I studied for a degree in Music at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and came straight out to BIS HCMC 2 months after I graduated. I left BIS after 1 year as a Music Intern to return to the UK to train to become a qualified music teacher. I trained in Dorset in South England, in a fantastic comprehensive school, that was actually recommended to me by the old Head of Music at BIS – Emma Morris. After 5 years in Dorset I moved back to Asia to The International School Bangalore, and am now Head of Music and Girls Boarding House at Malvern College Qingdao, China.

How did your experience of BIS impact your decision to become a music teacher?

As an intern straight out of university I was unsure how to use my Music degree. Working in the music department and with the students of BIS I realised how much satisfaction and joy I could get from helping young students in their journey to becoming both accomplished musicians and young adults.

How do you think teaching at BIS differs to other international schools?

BIS has a special community vibe amongst everyone in the school – the staff, the parents and of course the students too. Everyone is invested in the ethos of the school and the international environment that it provides.

I will be forever grateful to BIS HCMC for inspiring me to become a teacher, and more importantly an international teacher. The varied experiences you have while teaching such a huge range of students from all over the world is a privilege. Helen Kinder, Music Intern

What memories do you have of BIS HCMC?

My memories of BIS HCMC are incredibly fond. I remember some fantastic colleagues, passionate and talented students, and a great sense of community spirit in the school.

Would you ever consider a move back to BIS HCMC?

I came back to visit some friends at BIS HCMC in October last year and it was wonderful to visit the old campus and see some old friends. I love Saigon as a city and BIS HCMC will always hold a special place in my heart. Never say never – if the right job came up at the right time, who knows if I would consider an application!

What would you say are the key attributes to becoming a successful international school teacher?

Resilience, passion and a sense of humour.

Finally, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into international teaching?

Go for it! I will be forever grateful to BIS HCMC for inspiring me to become a teacher, and more importantly an international teacher. The varied experiences you have while teaching such a huge range of students from all over the world is a privilege.

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