We turn our attention to Early Years for this week's Teacher Feature, introducing our forever positive and enthusiastic Early Years Teacher, Ms Katarina Miklavec.

Ms Miklavec has been an indispensable member of our school community for many years, fulfilling many pedagogical roles at BISL with her can-do attitude before finally joining the Early Years team to follow her true passion in Early Years education, eager to instil a love for the outdoors and learning in our youngest of students.

How did your journey as a teacher begin?

I am a great admirer of adventures and my teaching journey has been nothing less. While still in Secondary school, I was given the opportunity to co-lead a children's scout group in my hometown, which I gradually led on my own for the next nine years. That was the first time I led a group of children and prepared activities for them, sparking my interest in the field. Despite this new discovery, I chose to study Cultural Anthropology at university, but as if by fate, eventually even that brought me back to pedagogy when I was introduced to 'Forest kindergartens', which I was fascinated by. After creating a plan for potential Slovene forest kindergartens as part of my Master's thesis, and succumbing to the many signs I had been given since a young age, I was sure it was finally time to pursue a career in teaching. I have since been part of the BISL team.

Why did you decide to specialise in Early Years education?

I have always been fascinated by the way young children see the world. They find value and magic in the most mundane of things that we adults take for granted. I also believe they are our greatest teachers because they remind us which things are really important in life. For these reasons I feel lucky to be able to provide children with experiences that amaze them, allow them to explore their own abilities and make new connections with the knowledge they already have and support them through the start of their learning journey.

What makes BISL such a unique place to work?

The mix of cultures, languages and experiences are so unique and are what excite me most about working at our school. We have staff coming from all walks of life with different backgrounds and when you add teamwork to the combination, anything is achievable.

How would you describe a typical day at BISL?

Although we follow a daily routine, every day brings something new and is full of surprises at BISL! Understanding what children need in any moment and being able to adapt accordingly is crucial in our line of work, it is what we have to incorporate into our day-to-day. Thus, a good supply of coffee and chocolate is also part of our everyday life and is possibly the secret ingredient to our unwavering ability to adapt to situations.

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

Children learn through real life experiences. In such an international environment, where some peers might not be fluent in English or some friends might leave at the end of the school year, while others join mid-year, sometimes they might be the ones needing to put extra effort into dealing with these situations. These experiences give students an opportunity to become adaptive, flexible, empathetic and aware that things change, and learn that change is okay, thus equipping them with the necessary skills to overcome challenges. I believe that to be an important life lesson, giving us the confidence to get through any obstacles in life.

BAM 1010
If not outdoors, Ms Miklavec greatly enjoys introducing the children to the magical world of books and reading through phonics.

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