This week's Teacher Feature acquaints us with Ms Sarah Fairchild, our acclaimed professional Team USA athlete, who has extensive experience in developing specific sporting skills within students who train in a variety of sports.

A real team player, Ms Fairchild has been an instrumental part of BISL since joining us at the start of the 2019-20 academic year, from her thoughtful approach to the development of our students with special education needs, through her unwavering support of our drop off and pick up procedures come rain or shine, to sharing her passion for continued professional development with her colleagues, it is nothing but pleasure to have her on board our BISL team.

How did your journey as a teacher begin?

I come to teaching from a unique background. I studied Sports Management at George Mason University in Washington, DC, while also playing multiple division one sports. I was given a chance to pursue Olympics and professional careers for Team USA in a few sports: US Track and Field, US Rowing, US Women's Soccer, and US Speed Skating. While training I was given many opportunities, and additionally became an entrepreneur running a few start-up companies. Wanting to give back to my home community of Washington, DC, I jumped at an opportunity to help design an innovative language and technology International Baccalaureate Charter School in Washington DC from the ground up. During my four years with that school, I found a true calling and passion for teaching. Due to this, I enrolled at Harvard University and achieved my higher education teaching certificate through their award-winning Derek Bok Teaching and Learning School and am continuing to pursue a Master's in Business Management through their Business School.

Why did you decide to specialise in Sports?

I come from very accomplished sports families on both sides. Due to this, Olympics was a calling from a young age as well as my passion for sports. As I developed in multiple sports, many opportunities beyond the pitch, rink, track, and river grew for me. I was able to see why behaviour patterns, discipline, approach to life, dedication to excellence, teamwork, and risk management skills you need to master in sport all apply to achieving success in other areas. I feel these factors, combined with an understanding of governing one's mental and physical health throughout life, are some of the greatest gifts you can give your students.

What makes BISL such a unique place to work?

BISL is a unique and fantastic place to work due to the amazing opportunities it provides our students while respecting and celebrating our collective diversity and still recognising outstanding individual talents. We additionally have a very knowledgeable, talented, passionate, and dedicated staff from around the world. Each colleague brings international perspectives, an eagerness to inspire, a holistic dedicated team-teaching approach, and a welcoming atmosphere for students each day.

How would you describe a typical day at BISL?

A typical day at BISL is full of energy, planning, discipline, the pursuit of learning, excellence, respect, empathy, challenge, and connection. I enjoy my day from the time I enter the doors and am greeted by our lovely staff, to collaborating with colleagues and, most importantly, all my memorable interactions with our fantastic students. There is nothing more exciting than seeing a student become inspired by something you have helped introduce them to, and this is something BISL allows me to experience multiple times a day. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by colleagues who think the same and a school that provides growth on all levels.

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

An international education experience offers students a chance at mobility, unique and challenging perspectives, and flexible thinking. These essential interactions will allow our students to take on the world's significant challenges with diverse skill sets, cultural capital, and a more profound knowledge base. International education also increases various connections while championing innovative ideas that can reach across borders and help solve our world's future demands.

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Ms Fairchild is currently completing a Master's in Business Management with Harvard Business School.

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