Continuing our Teacher Feature series, this week we focus the spotlight on Mr Nino Kokalj, our thoughtful and fun-loving Year 6 Teacher and Canvas champion.

Mr Kokalj has been with us for many years, he is always eager to learn and share his knowledge with others, is keen on implementing new technologies in the classroom and relishes every opportunity to interact with students, nurturing them to become independent and responsible individuals as they navigate through the transition from primary to secondary education, forever promoting a love of learning along the way.

How did your journey as a teacher begin?

The decision to begin my career at the British International School of Ljubljana was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I began my journey as a Slovene teacher and after two years I was given the opportunity to become a primary class teacher. Initially, I taught Year 4, later transitioning to Year 6, where I still teach at present. Following a visit to a London education fare, I became intrigued with online learning and Virtual Learning Environments. As a result, I embraced this new challenge and took on the role of Canvas Lead for our school. Currently, in addition to Canvas, I also lead professional development in the primary school and coordinate ICT.

Why did you decide to specialise in Primary education?

I’ve always believed that working with children gives me the chance to make a positive impact on their lives; and the wonderful thing about teaching is that you can see the positive effects of your work every day. It is incredibly rewarding to be able to help a child overcome a problem or grasp a tricky concept. Working with children can be challenging but it is always entertaining. I enjoy the opportunity to be creative when I plan and teach lessons, and I also love the variety of this job, where no day is ever the same.

What makes BISL such a unique place to work?

Creativity is at the heart of everything we do, and the enthusiasm of staff and students results in a dynamic and forward-thinking school. We all work in a stimulating setting where dedicated and talented staff can collaborate to create the best environment possible for our students.

How would you describe a typical day at BISL?

As soon as you walk through the entrance of BISL you see children enthused, engaged and positive about learning. In the mornings, the primary students wait for their teachers in the school playground before making their way to the classrooms together and settling down before their first lesson at 8:00. Us class teachers teach English, Maths and Topic, while specialist teachers support the students with Slovene, French, Performing Arts and PE. Primary students have a snack and a break in the morning. Then at lunch, at the moment, all students eat their lunch inside the classroom before going out to the playground. The day ends at 3 o’clock.

Throughout the day, the children learn in a variety of ways that help them to achieve their goals. If you walked into a class, you might see them learning to take notes, working in groups, performing, delivering presentations or conducting individual research. You would see them learning to evaluate their own work, as well as the work of their peers. Above all you, would see them having fun as they learn.

Why is the experience of an international education important for a student?

Our students represent more than 40 countries from around the globe. Together we share our individual cultural heritage and experiences, but we are also Global Citizens who respect and understand the wider world and are passionate about learning to work with others, to make our planet more equal, fair and sustainable.

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A proud Mr Kokalj with his Graduating Year 6 Class of 2020.

More from our Teacher Feature series