After completing my degree and TESOL certificate, I started my teaching career in China 25 years ago teaching English to undergraduates in Jishou University, Hunan. After a wonderful 2 years, I moved back to England and gained a PGCE (specialism in teaching students with learning difficulties) from the University of Greenwich and met my now husband, Dean Bates, who is BSG’s Head of Psychology. Since then, I have taught for over 10 years in total, in both the UK and overseas, teaching students with autism, epilepsy and emotional and behavioural difficulties and specific learning difficulties including dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD, and most recently as a class Primary teacher at a Nord Anglia international school in Beijing.
Teaching was my first career, and after working for a non-profit organisation and then running my own business, we moved as a family to Almaty, Kazakhstan and it inspired me to return to teaching. I successfully completed the University of Leicester’s Learning Technologies Post Graduate Certificate (worth around one third of a Master’s) and it was an interesting refresher of teaching and learning theories, how to use Learning Technology for differentiation and learning strategies, assessment, documentation, and data tracking. As a result, I enjoy and feel confident integrating technology to enhance and extend the learning of my students. We then had a short return to England and my frontline SEN support position as part of the Enhanced Learning Team at a state boarding school enabled me to pick up the best current practice of the KS2 National Curriculum and I took advantage of CPD opportunities to update my knowledge of current Learning Support/SEN practices and resources.
I really enjoy teaching in international schools and one of my favourite days is International Day where I get to meet many parents and experience the food and take part in activities that make each nationality special. I am fascinated by how issues with memory, sequencing, organisation, processing speed and/or concentration – all key commonalities or core features of most specific learning difficulties, can be diagnosed and supported with bilingual or multilingual learners. As a parent, I strongly believe that the multicultural environment develops tolerance and expands knowledge about other cultures, as well as helping to shape soft skills, which are extremely valuable in the modern labour market. And of course, I am enjoying experiencing living in another Chinese city