As a Senior International Account Manager here at Edmentum International, I am incredibly fortunate to work with people from all around the world. My days tend to start rather early in the morning, having conversations with educators in Asia as they finish their working day, and then they can sometimes end with an online meeting in South America just before my bedtime.
International education is something I feel very lucky to be a part of. The sheer diversity of schools and people that I get to work with is phenomenal. From a tiny school in Peru with less than 20 students, whose parents all work in the local mining company, to the huge international schools in the UAE with over 3,000 students, I only wish I could visit them all. Thankfully, modern day technology enables me to connect with them all.
Every now and then, I do get to travel, and I get the opportunity to visit a new country and new schools, and every time, it’s always a new experience.
My most recent trip was to Madrid, Spain, after being invited by The King’s School Group to go to one of their schools. The group have several British curriculum schools across Spain, Latvia, Germany, England, and even Panama! I was honored to be invited to their 50th birthday/professional development weekend.
During my time in Madrid, I was able to visit other schools, which included an open plan school – there were no classrooms, just lots of class areas, laid out like classrooms, but with no windows and doors – it was amazing (and loud!).
My previous career was classroom-based; I was a learning support assistant, which I guess is why I love working with schools so much now, and I still have that involvement in education, but I do miss working directly with the students.
I was incredibly excited when Miss Jones, the Head of Primary, agreed for me to come and spend some time with her students at the King’s College School. Her Year 3 class, mostly Spanish nationals, but all fluent English speakers, were also ecstatic about my visit, so much so, they welcomed me with a dance to EducationCity’s 8 x Table Song (you can watch it below)! ‘What a fantastic way to get the children to learn their multiplication facts and be active’, I thought. I work for EducationCity and I’d never have thought to use the resource in such a way!
Afterwards, the Year 3’s shared iPads and worked in pairs to complete the activities that Miss Jones had set for them via a MyCity. The students were all able to log in independently and I spoke to some of them about what a great life skill it was to learn about usernames and passwords – they all knew their own, and to keep them secret! I loved seeing the children work in teams and share the iPads as they worked through the activities, and it was even more warming to see their expressions change to sheer joy when they answered the questions correctly.
After breaktime, I was thrilled to join the Year 1 students. Although only 5 and 6 years old, they were already bilingual which left me in awe! At the ripe old age of 29, I only speak one language, and they certainly made me want to rectify that!
The class gathered around the board to watch an EducationCity video and then completed a teacher-led activity as a group. The students then had activities to complete on individual iPads, and each child used different materials to help with their maths questions, whether it be number lines, counting cubes or pencil and paper. I loved how every child was encouraged to learn in a way that suited them, and of course, they also asked the staff for help, including me. I was very pleased to sit on the carpet with the children and just enjoy helping them to work out their sums.
Despite using EducationCity with my own students a few years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing today’s EducationCity in action in a variety of ways. I was very grateful for the teachers and students at King’s College School for welcoming me with open arms.
The following day, I was welcomed into the heart of the King’s Group, at King’s College Soto de Viñuelas, for their Professional Development Weekend. I provided four training sessions, and each session I tailored to those attending. I guess that’s the veteran teacher in me, enjoying differentiating my teaching to meet the needs of the class!
I might not have a direct impact on students’ learning now that I’m not classroom-based, but I believe I’m the lucky one because I get to provide the tools and support to the teachers, which enables them to do the incredible job that they do. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I’m so thankful to play a small part in many villages all around the world!