For our next Teacher Feature, we bring you a delightful interview with our beloved History Teacher, Mr Malden.
Originally from England, Mr Malden spent several years working in sales before following his passion and transitioning into teaching. With a love for history that extends far beyond the classroom, Mr Malden enjoys travelling to historical sites and tries to bring some of that excitement into his lessons.
Briefly describe your journey as a teacher.
I worked from the age of 13, at markets, in restaurants, in customer services, in merchandising, and finally in sales for Mercedes. I was never completely happy in a job, despite working with some incredible people who I remain friends with to this day. Whilst working for Mercedes, my boss asked if I had considered going for promotion and I surprised us both by saying "no", and I was going to train to be a teacher. I spent almost two years working in a behaviour unit with children who had been taken out of mainstream lessons to see if I could do it. I really enjoyed the challenge of helping students realise their full potential and so began teacher training. Once qualified, I was soon given my own tutor group and I can honestly say that helping them through the first three years of secondary school in England has been my most rewarding experience to date. I ran the history department at my previous school and enjoyed the challenge of developing the curriculum.
Why did you decide to specialise in History?
I had always had an interest in history and love finding out how previous generations lived. I cannot pass a hill without imagining some ancient tribe trying to defend it from expansive neighbours. I am interested in cause and effect and like to find out why events happened, and I try to bring some of that passion into my lessons. I have managed to get to a few sites around the world - Angkor Wat in Cambodia was incredible, and I hope to visit some pre-Columbian sites in Central and South America next.
What makes BISL such a unique place to work?
BISL is unique in that it is well-placed to offer students a first-rate education while also increasing their cultural capital by enabling students to mix with a wide-variety of students from many different cultures and backgrounds, but who all want to be the very best that they can be.
How would you describe a typical day at BISL?
A typical day at BISL starts with smiling faces in morning registration where we discuss the challenges of the day ahead, or watch student-led presentations before heading off to lessons. I teach a range of year groups - from year 8 to year 13 - so I can move from talking about Tudor England to the French Revolution in the space of 40 minutes. Once lessons are over there are after-school clubs - I am currently running the basketball club - and then we head over for staff volleyball to unwind before a well-earned rest.
Why is the experience of an international education important for a student?
The experience of an international education is invaluable in our ever-shrinking world. Developing their English-language ability and benefitting from an officially outstanding education, whilst forging friendships and developing soft skills that come from being in such an internationally diverse environment is something that most students can only dream about. Those fortunate enough to be taught at BISL recognise the position that they are in and do their best to make the most of the opportunity that has been given to them.
I remain hugely fond of my previous school and it was a wrench to leave. The chance to improve my own practice by taking up the challenge that working at an outstanding school brings was not something I could turn down. Meeting the dedicated staff at BISL was a huge factor in making me feel at ease in Slovenia, but meeting the students sealed the deal. They are incredible and motivate me every day. I am busier than I have ever been, but it is "good-busy", and this does not feel like work.