Where are you from originally?
Strangely I’m always a little confused myself when I answer this question. Sometimes I say Ireland and sometimes I say Scotland. Soon I’ll be saying Poland! I was born in Northern Ireland and lived there until 5, when I upped ship and moved to Scotland for my formative years. My close family is Polish and my long term future is here so I’m beginning to feel more and more Polish every year!
What is your role at TBS & Nord Anglia?
First and foremost, I’m a teacher and I see my role as enabling the students in my care to become the best version of themselves. I am also the NAE-MIT regional lead for Europe and work closely on the NAE-MIT collaboration with NAE central team and the NAE school leads within the European region. Part of that role is helping support the planning, prep and delivery of the regional festival which will be launched in under 3 weeks!
Have you lived in any other countries?
I have lived in Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Kazakhstan and Poland (Chronologically).
Where and what did you study for your education?
I come from a Business degree background, which I studied at Queens University Belfast. It’s still an area that interests me greatly. After that I got my teaching PGCE and more recently, I completed my MA in International Education at Kings College London.
How long have you been at TBS?
I have been at TBS for 4 years now.
What do you enjoy most about teaching at our school and working for Nord Anglia Education?
The Students. I have been lucky to teach so many curious and amazing students here at TBS Warsaw. Nord Anglia itself, I see as a pioneering network who aspires to change the world of our students – something I greatly relate to. I also have had the chance to work with some incredible people across NAE and within TBS – there’s always a chance to learn and improve within Nord Anglia and that for me is critical to any organization.
What are you most looking forward to in the 2019/2020 academic year?
While I will be sad to say goodbye to my current class, I will look forward to the next curious set of student’s I will teach. I also look forward the great unknown. At NAE and TBS, you never know what is around the corner and what you will be able to create or do within this evolving educational context – that excites me.
Whose your favourite STEAM/historian/scientist/literary figure and why?
I’m going to go with Steve Jobs here, simply because he typified the beginning of a ‘garage start up revolution’ which has continued to this day. Apple changed the parameters of the tech and other industries significantly. He also was a key player in the shift from STEM to STEAM with apple showing a great passion for the Arts within tech and their interface. I also take great inspiration from ‘garage’ startup entrepreneurs today – where the idea of one person can be taken into reality and has the potential to transform industries and the lives of millions. The startup revolution has signaled a powerful shift in innovation.
We are hearing from you a lot lately in regards to the upcoming STEAM Festival, what’s one of the highlights of the festival?
I think just getting 200+ students together, who are from all over the world, and for a week of intercultural, STEAM, project based learning and the development of STEAM skills is a big highlight – one of the great benefits of being part of NAE. Also, we will have a range of experts coming to speak to our students in the workshops, who they will benefit from. Finally, we also have an exciting evening time enrichment program.
What do you think will be the most important skill students will need for the “jobs of tomorrow?”
When answering this, I think about “What will Artificial Intelligence and Robots of the future not be able to do?” Communication, adaptable collaboration and the ability to adapt to complex and evolving situations that interact between ‘oneself, specific situations and people’. One might argue that AI will be able to do these in the distant future but I’m a little more skeptical when it comes to complex problem solving scenarios.
We hear there are students coming from 12 other NAE schools, will there be opportunities for TBS parents and students to be involved in the festival?
Yes, definitely. When planning the festival, we wanted it to very much interact with the wider community, including our keen parent and student body. All 45 students who expressed an interest in taking part, will all join the 13 other NAE schools and students in the full program. We have some exciting evening program events which additional parents and TBS students can take part in: On Monday 10th we will hear from an exciting range of global pioneers who will address our students and wider community. On Tuesday 11th – the community can purchase tickets to come and see an inspiring STEAM movie (distributed directly from the USA film production company for this event!). Finally, on the Friday 14th June, parents and students (with teachers) are welcome to visit the final festival showcase from 9.30 – 11.00am.
What is your favourite thing about living in Warsaw, Poland?
I love the people and I also love the diverse range of beautiful landscapes that spread across this county more generally – from beaches, sea, lakes, mountains and cities. I’ve been lucky to travel a lot of Poland and it keeps me wanting to go back for more.
What do you miss most from home?
I miss the Glens and walking in Scotland. Obviously, wider family too!