Tell us about your background. Where are you from?
I am an Australian who calls Brisbane her hometown but I currently resides in Quito, Ecuador where I am the Director of The British School Quito.
I am an educational leader, motivational speaker, international educator and businesswoman who has nearly twenty-five years experience in education in the United Kingdom, Australia, Europe, Asia and South America. In 2006 I founded my own business, Teepee Consulting, through which I have had the opportunity to facilitate positive and effective change within learning communities around the world, through the delivery or leadership and professional development and coaching programs.
I obtained my undergraduate degree in education from the University of South Australia and I hold a graduate Diploma in Management. I have been an invited speaker at a range of international and national conferences speaking on such topics as, positive, effective and ethical leadership; positive staff development, appraisal and retention programs; higher order thinking skills; creating cultures of excellence; curriculum development for 21st century learners; and capability building in education teams.
How did you get started in the international teaching community?
I got started in international education in 2001 shortly after the birth of our third daughter. The then European Council of International Schools had a position advertised for ‘model teachers’ in an international school in Romania. Having had some experience in consulting at that point, and having a partner who was also an educator and consultant, I decided to take the leap and move our family overseas.
Which international schools have you worked at? Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.
Before moving to Ecuador I have lived in Peru, Russia, Romania, Australia and the UK but I have worked with many other schools in Asia, South America and Europe as a consultant. In Russia I was the Deputy Head of the British International School Moscow where we loved the culture, history and art of the city and the country. If you love architecture and history this is a great country to visit and live in.
In Peru I was the Director of Primary and Early Years at 1200+ student school called San Silvestre. This is an amazing all girls’ school in Miraflores, a lovely superb close to the Pacific coastline. If you are looking for a professional and personally nurturing school in which to work, then look no further than San Silvestre. My time there was some of my happiest both personally and professionally. The school has an inquiry based approach to teaching and learning and offers the IB Diploma. The staff are a wonderful team and the school ethos and ‘feel’ is more like a smaller, community school.
Whilst in Peru I led the “Re-Building Childrens’ Lives” concert project designed to contribute to aiding communities, in the south of Peru, after the devastating earthquake that occurred in 2007. I helped to organise, and participated in, a range of concerts and musical events to raise funds for this, and other, important community service projects.
Now I am here in Quito, Ecuador enjoying all that Ecuador and Quito have to offer. The British School Quito is a small but growing school with an excellent reputation and a high standard of academic excellence. We offer the British National Curriculum and the IB Diploma and we are proud to be accredited by both the Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. We are currently the only school in Ecuador that offers all three sciences in English at Higher Level in the IB Diploma. The school has a truly warm and collegial atmosphere with very supportive parents and an engaged learning community. I am truly enjoying my experience at BSQ.
Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.
Whilst South America has its challenges it also have wonderful rewards including its wonderful array of food, superb climate, majestic landscapes and scenery, and bounteous travel and sporting opportunities. However, when we live and work outside of our own countries and cultures there are always things that make us think, huh? or put a smile on our faces. Just recently here in Quito we had to close the school for three days so that the government could move the airport from its old location to its new location! Well that put a smile on a few people’s faces….it certainly wouldn’t happen at home!
What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?
When I am looking for a new school I look at the culture (the feel of a school). How long do staff stay? What do staff say about the school? What retention programs are in place? What do the children say? Are the learners happy, engaged, active learners? If I think the culture is right for me then I ask myself…Why am I right for this community of learners? What can I contribute? If I have an answer that delivers positive outcomes for the learning community then I go for it!
In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
The international school teaching experience is – truly rewarding challenging and capability enhancing
If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here. If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!
Want to work for an international school in Ecuador like Kerry? Currently, we have 8 international schools listed in the Ecuador on International School Community. Here are a few that have had comments and information submitted on their profiles:
• InterAmerican Academy Guayaquil (13 Comments)
• Academia Cotopaxi (American International School) (6 Comments)
• Colegio Menor San Francisco de Quito (21 Comments)
• The British School Quito (24 Comments)
The How To Germany website (www.howtogermany.com/pages/internationalschools.html) has some excellent insight on the many international schools in Germany.
There are many international educators interested in working at these schools. Currently, there are 21 international schools listed under Germany on International School Community. There are 20 international schools listed on the How To Germany website. Some of the international schools listed on their website are:
Highlighted sections from their website:
There are compelling reasons why you might choose to send your children to one of Germany’s many fine international schools.
“Many English-speaking expatriates are educating their children at Germany’s international schools, and an education at such a school has numerous advantages.
There is, of course, instruction in the native language. And, since the student body is usually quite international, they expose the young people to a variety of cultures. They also do a better job than most German schools of introducing the students to computers, and the program of sports and extracurricular activities is more like what they are accustomed to at home.
Physical plants and facilities are usually quite modern, clean and comfortable, with new equipment more conducive to learning. And the curricula among international schools is uniform, allowing ease of transfer. They usually are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) and normally offer the International Baccalaureate. They may also offer the American high school diploma, British A Levels and, sometimes, the GermanAbitur.
The costs vary from school to school and in some cases may approximate what a US college education commands: as much as €16,000 per high school student per year. Preschool and elementary school grades may cost 30 to 50 percent less. Additional costs could include transportation, lunches, class trips and various special activities.”
“Berlin Brandenburg International School (BBIS), founded in 1990, is an inclusive, coeducational English language day and boarding school serving the internationally-minded community of Germany’s capital region and beyond. The BBIS campus is located in the village of Kleinmachnow, bordering the southwest of Berlin, on a large, quiet wooded hill known as the Seeberg.
BBIS offers an international education programme. An International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, BBIS is the first IB school in the world to be fully authorized by the International Baccalaureate organization in Geneva, Switzerland to teach all four IB programmes covering the 3 to19 year-old age range. The school is also fully accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA).
From Early Childhood to grade 12, BBIS is truly an international school, with 680 students representing 60 nationalities. Classes are small, usually with fewer than 18 students. The school offers excellent facilities and an extensive extracurricular programme for students of all ages. In addition, specific support is provided for students with special needs and those for whom English is not a first language.
In grades 11 and 12 students have the opportunity to earn the IB Diploma, a qualification recognized by top universities throughout the world, or the IB Career-related Certificate, an exciting new professionally-oriented programme that, with a flexible and individualized curriculum, aims at helping students develop a broad range of career-related competencies.
The BBIS boarding facility, located directly on the school campus, houses 30 international students from grades 9 through 12. It is the first international, English-language IB World Boarding School in all of Germany. For more details please visit www.bbis.de.”
St. George’s International School has been an integral part of the international community in Nordrhein-Westfalen since 1985 when it was founded by an English family in Cologne. Since then, St. George’s has founded further schools in Duisburg (2002) and Aachen (2007). With over 1000 pupils in its three schools, St. George’s success lies in its aim to offer children happy school years.
St. George’s provides a full school day for pupils aged 3 to 18 and incorporates all school years including Nursery School and Reception Classes, Early Years, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School until A-Level or IB diploma. Both diplomas are accepted world-wide for university entrance.
Individual support and attention are placed on pupils in regard to their native school system thereby enabling them to return smoothly to their native country’s system if necessary. 45 % of St. George’s student body is comprised of German pupils and the rest comes from 35 different nations; hence integration is not only theory but is practiced on a daily basis. A school uniform further enhances integration and solidarity between pupils. All children are introduced and immersed in traditions, holidays and history of the local German culture.
It is St. George’s aim to achieve the highest possible academic standard by means of small classes (maximum 20 pupils per class), a dedicated and enthusiastic staff and a positive atmosphere throughout the school. The student-teacher ratio of 7.5 to 1 allows for individual attention to be placed on each pupil’s specific need, for stronger and weaker pupils alike. Non English speakers are given extra support through the ESL department. The first foreign language taught is German which is divided into German for native speakers and German for non-native speakers; the second foreign language taught is French. After school clubs are offered on a regular basis.continue reading