For the final Teacher Feature of this academic year, we are delighted to bring you an insightful interview with the lovely Mrs Fordham, our Year 2 teacher.

Mrs Fordham is passionate about working with children and young people, supporting them to achieve their best educationally, socially and emotionally. She has a range of experience working in education settings and supporting students both in the UK and abroad. She has a Social Care degree, a TEFL teaching qualification and has completed many training courses to enhance her knowledge around supporting students.

Briefly describe your journey as a teacher.

My path to becoming a teacher wasn’t a particularly direct or conventional one. I attended the University of Winchester in England specialising in Social Care. This course helped me to develop my empathy for and understanding of young people and convinced me that I wanted a job that enabled me to support and help them to develop. I have worked with children and young people for all of my adult life in a range of different roles and locations including in education settings, social services and children’s charities and organisations. These jobs have taken me from the UK to America, Bulgaria and South Korea. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to live in such a diverse range of places and am excited to call Slovenia home for the foreseeable future.

Why did you decide to specialise in Primary education?

As mentioned above, my university studies opened my eyes to how much satisfaction there is to be had from helping others to develop and grow. I am passionate about supporting children to achieve their best educationally, socially, and emotionally. The beauty about working with year 2 is that they are making so many new discoveries each and every day; both about themselves and the world around them. To be part of that process is a true privilege.

What makes BISL such a unique place to work?

As a newer member of staff, I have found BISL to be a very supportive community. Staff are always offering support and encouragement, the teaching experience here is truly a collaborative one. I feel that this attitude filters down to students too and I strongly encourage them, even at such an early age, to do everything they can to help and support each other. Another value of our school is how much it has to offer to students. They can enjoy the activities, trips and special days in addition to engaging with a rich and varied curriculum. Another great benefit for me is the chance to work abroad again and to immerse myself in a truly diverse international community. Each class at BISL is made up from a wonderful mix of backgrounds and cultures and it really creates the perfect environment to learn from each other and expand our own understanding of the world.

How would you describe a typical day at BISL?

Dynamic, as each day is packed full of activities and no two days are alike. I arrive at school early to make sure everything is ready for the day ahead. Students are welcomed to my classroom with a morning slide; they love the different challenges to make a positive start to each day. Most days include some combination of the following: lessons, marking books, communicating with parents, supporting during break and lunch, sharing ideas and resources with other teachers and making sure students are learning and enjoying themselves. It is non-stop and the day seems to end not long after it begins. It can be tiring but it is also a lot of fun and offers a variety impossible in most walks of life.

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

As touched on previously, an international education exposes students to a diverse range of cultures and experiences from a very young age. As much as education back home in the UK also strongly promotes the values of diversity, it is hard for it to match the experience of living it. Students are able to learn from me, to learn from each other and I am able to learn from them too. This creates an environment where we all support each other to develop and grow. The wealth of experience represented in my classroom, and at such an early age, still surprises me and I am fascinated to learn more about the lives of my students. An international education is a vital start in our increasingly international world and BISL is able to offer students the perfect environment for understanding the value of empathy, patience and understanding.

More from our Teacher Feature series