Briefly describe your journey as a teacher.
I have been living and teaching English in various forms since 1997 when I moved to Slovenia to marry my Slovene wife. My teaching adventures here began when I was working for a private English language school for students aged from 5 to 20 which I ultimately ended up owning for 14 years. I enjoyed the challenges of working for myself and creating a variety of courses and content to help local students grow their English skills as well as develop their general outlook on a number of fascinating issues.
From there in 2013 I took on a few extra hours at BISL, working as EAL support. In short, I really enjoyed working with the school and the wide variety of nationalities in it. When I was given the option to join BISL more permanently, I decided I would like to join as a full time staff member.
Why did you decide to specialize in English Language?
Although I have taught several ages and levels of English, I have found my real passion is in working with Key Stage 3 students. I love the fact that we get to explore such a wide variety of topics and themes in the overall umbrella of English the subject. We also get to read and discuss some fantastic literature, all the way from Chaucer up to Harry Potter via every possible direction,. Key Stage 3 students also are at the age where they start to form strong opinions and it is wonderful to be there to see them expand these and grow both as students and young people.
What makes BISL such a unique place to work?
BISL is a unique place to work as I get to interact with students and teachers from all over the world and learn about their experiences and cultures as well as sharing my own. Although we have set routines in place, I never get the feeling that am repeating the same old day at work. Instead I can never fully predict just what fun or fabulous moments the students and staff will help me experience.
How would you describe a typical day at BISL?
A typical day for me involves starting off the day with my form and seeing what issues they will need to know about followed by a lesson or 2 of English in the morning with my wonderful students. Then I will relocate myself to the library for the morning break where in my other role as librarian I can see so many students enjoying themselves with a book. Then there will be further English lessons and another session or 2 in the library. Throughout the day I will continue to look ahead to my lesson planning for the next few weeks and make sure I have all the resources I need.
What is the best part of your day at BISL?
The best part of the day is always the unexpected. Whether it’s something extremely clever a student has thought of or a surprising and hilarious answer or observation – you can always guarantee there will be something wonderful to take away from the day. Also those other incredible moments where you can suddenly see a student making significant progress with their English language skills are always a great reward in our role as teachers.
Why is the experience of an international education important for a student?
The experience of a student at an international school is a valuable one indeed. Learning tolerance and understanding to others experiences and cultures can only benefit them in the long run. Since I first started teaching in Slovenia I have been lucky enough to see so many of my students move on to bigger and better things, no doubt also to their time spent at International schools.