As we continue to celebrate Humanities during this block, we turn to Geography to introduce this week’s Teacher Feature, Mr Astbury.
Mr Astbury’s love of geography started from a young age, having spent 2 years in Indonesia living in the shadow of an active volcano! Passionate about his subject, with a particular interest in sustainability and the environment, Mr Astbury believes that geography is the key to a better understanding of global society and enjoys using geography to fire the imagination and bring the whole world into the classroom.
Briefly describe your journey as a teacher.
I have worked in the UK and Europe, having completed my teacher training in Cheltenham, UK. After this, I worked in two schools in South Bristol and then decided to look at teaching internationally, moving to Bucharest. I enjoyed this new aspect of teaching a lot and when it was time to move on, I felt fortunate that there was a humanities position available at BISL.
Why did you decide to specialise in Geography?
I have always been interested in geography from an early age - I lived in Indonesia as a child and was fascinated by the volcano I could see from my house, Mt Merapi. I was then inspired by my own geography teachers at school to not only complete a degree in the subject but also continue on to become a teacher.
What makes BISL such a unique place to work?
Having only been here a couple of months, I would say that BISL is unique due to its place as it offers an international education in Slovenia. Offering IGCSE and A Level courses is something that will always be sought after and students at BISL are fortunate to have the options to go on to study at any university in the world with these gold standard qualifications.
How would you describe a typical day at BISL?
Arriving at school I usually check my emails and ensure I have all my resources ready for the day. I then welcome my Form group and conduct the activity of the day - this ranges from a quiz, to silent work, to students presentations. After a busy day of lessons and duties, I sometimes have MEPI club which is always fun, and then it is home time. Despite similar routines, no day is the same which is a reason teaching is such an engaging job!
Why is the experience of an international education important for a student?
The appreciation of different cultures and backgrounds is so important in today's society, and being empathetic to others is vital for keeping our world and our local community a nice place to live. Having an international education helps build these qualities as you get to meet people from all over the world and learn about their experiences, as well as understand what has shaped their lives.