As part of our Science block celebrations, this week's Teacher Feature brings you a fun interview with Ms Prohart Strmčnik from our Science department.

With a passion for Biology, Ms Strmčnik has a BSc in Biology from the University of Ljubljana's Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. As part of her Master's degree in Biology and Ecology with Nature Conservation, she has been researching the use of synthetic seeds and their applications in nature conservation - a fascinating topic. In her free time, she tends to her collection of exotic pets - dart frogs, tree frogs, toads, and tarantulas, and also collects rare tropical plants! Ms Strmčnik aims to instil this same awe of the natural sciences in her students every day.

Briefly describe your journey as a teacher.

My journey as a teacher so far has been short and sweet. I never thought that I would become a teacher, as I was always a bit anxious about public speaking. I was expecting to be terrified, but once I entered the classroom and started talking about the subject I know and love, I was calm and instantly fell in love with teaching, and have never looked back since graduating in 2020.

Why did you decide to specialise in Science and Biology?

All my life I lived in a small village surrounded by forests and meadows, but my grandmother’s appreciation of nature was probably the biggest influence on this decision. Since before I could speak, she would take me for walks and teach me the names of different plants we encountered, along with their uses in herbal medicine. Seeing the beauty and intricacy of life made me want to study it in detail and contribute to our knowledge of it.

What makes BISL such a unique place to work?

The people here are so warm and accepting, I immediately felt like I belong. Both the staff and the students are very welcoming and some of the nicest people I have ever met. BISL is a truly diverse place, and I learn something new every day.

The other advantage is that BISL is one of the very few places in Slovenia where you actively use English every day. As someone who has learnt English since I was five, I really appreciate this aspect of my work and I love that I am able to use this skill in my everyday life.

How would you describe a typical day at BISL?

I usually come in around 7:00am, so I have enough time to prepare for the day, I check my emails and lesson plans. I meet my Form group and we start the day together with a chat and an activity. The day is always busy with lessons, booster sessions, and meetings, so time usually just flies by! No two days are the same though, every lesson can bring a new surprise and challenge.

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

I believe keeping an open mind and being sensitive to other people’s needs and preferences is a crucial part of a child’s upbringing, and being in an environment that is so culturally diverse can make that much easier to achieve. Furthermore, the IGCSE and A Level qualifications will open doors for students all over the world, and so will their English proficiency, which is much higher when you are actively using the language every day at such a high level.

More from our Teacher Feature series