Beyond The Classroom
Joining CGA has felt like my career to date has been leading me here.
I graduated from the University of Glasgow with a Masters in English Language and Literature and headed off to teach English in Japan. I then returned and completed a Post Graduate in Education and Teaching English as a Second or Additional Language.
I began my full time teaching career at a prestigious selective entry private school in Southern England, teaching GCSEs and AS/A Levels in English Language, English Literature, Drama and Media Studies. I was also a Sixth Form Tutor, supporting students in their university applications, including students successful in gaining entry to Oxford, Cambridge and other leading universities throughout the UK.
As part of an international sister school exchange I taught Senior and Sophomore English, with IB students incorporated, in North Carolina, USA. After returning to the UK I decided to move to Australia and have been teaching a range of subjects, specialising in English, in a rural Central School in New South Wales, until joining CGA in May of 2022.
I have always been at the forefront of the use of technology in Education and when the pandemic hit I grabbed the opportunity to develop my teaching pedagogy using all of the technology available to me. I loved this way of teaching and decided that it is the cutting edge that I wanted to be at! That is where CGA came to my attention. They were already doing what I knew was the next step in my journey and in education more broadly.
I packaged up my 25 years of experience teaching in five different countries, on 4 different continents, with my working knowledge of 3 different UK examination boards (Pearson Edexcel, Cambridge and AQA) and my experience of university applications and emailed Executive Principal John Morris. I was sure that CGA was where I needed to be!
In May this year I started teaching 4 levels of English Literature from our youngest students in Pre IG English Stage 1 through to those embarking on their A Level Studies at AS Level. I love the enthusiasm of the students, the pace of the lessons and the academic rigor that infuse my lessons. I was initially concerned that teaching 100% online would reduce the rapport that I was able to build with my students and that I would struggle to provide the student centred, individualised learning that underpins my teaching style. I needn’t have worried. The small class sizes and interactive nature of our lessons have meant that in only a few lessons I have been able to get to know my students on an individual level, know what their strengths and challenges are, and tailor the learning to their needs. The pace of lessons is fast and the depth of study is rigorous. The iGCSE and A Level curriculum in English fuels my passion for language and literature.
The digital platforms that we have at CGA make our classes truly interactive. It has been a real asset to be able to support individual students in developing their writing and essay skills as I can see, in real time, their writing, using online collaborative documents, offering immediate feedback. The digital nature of our classrooms allows me to see that all students are contributing to lessons, through Q+A, real time annotation of texts, lively discussion utilising virtual breakout rooms and collaborative workspaces. The class is a hive of activity and learning.
CGA feels like I have come full circle in my own international teaching experience and that this has prepared me for this truly international school. It feels a little like I have come home!