WISS Today Article

Meet Grade 3 teacher Holly Clegg!  Holly is in her second year at WISS.  Travel and living in different countries is a lifestyle for her. She is a passionate educator sharing her life experiences and adventures wiith her students.

1.Tell us a little bit about your background and how you became experience in your subject area?

I am originally from a small little village most have not heard of in England: Yealand Redmayne. However, when I was four we moved to Singapore. After eighteen months we then moved to Hannover, Germany. It was here that I spend most my childhood, with the exception of one year in France when I was about eleven. I am the eldest of four children and no matter where I travel I know that I always have my family to support and go back to.

Funnily enough the one thing I swore I did not want to be when I grew up was a teacher. However, as always, life happened and I am now a teacher; a profession I love find both rewarding and challenging in ways I did not think possible. I knew once I started studying that I wanted to work with younger children. I have always loved reading to young students at school and indeed often read books to my brothers and sister when we were growing up.

My childhood had me travelling all over the world and as a result I knew that I wanted to travel more and experience more cultures. In the last several years I have taught in Germany and Barbados and I think that it is amazing that I can travel and teach at the same time.

2.What are your personal teaching philosophies?

My main philosophy is to try and make myself approachable to my students, as well as make my lessons meaningful. The more interesting, fun and relevant a topic the more engaged the students are. I think it’s important to let my students know that whilst I am knowledgeable, I do not know everything. That having the skills to find out what you want to know, is equally important to knowledge itself. I also have a strong love of reading that I try to impart on my students, as I believe reading to be a critical skill. As a result, I read to them every day from a variety of authors throughout the school year.

3.Why have you chosen to work within the IB curriculum?

Growing up I actually went to an IB school. As such, I went through the MYP and the IB, as did my brothers and sister. I find the program to be both demanding and rigorous. Whilst there is a focus on the academics, it also focuses on the emotional and social aspects. I think that this is vital, as the world beyond school is more than just academics; it involves caring about our environment and community both locally and globally. The IB programme teaches children about these topics and more from a young age, which allows for them to become open-minded, caring and knowledgeable individuals who are well rounded.

4.Tell us more about the importance of your subject area for students overall growth and development?

The primary years are important for students. They give students their foundations for the upcoming years. Whatever they choose to do or be in later life, their experiences from when they are younger help shape them. The IB PYP programme is centered around the Learner Profile, which I believe helps form our students into informed, international and open-minded people. In a world that seems to change swiftly from year to year, where people can travel so easily, and we work with people from all over the world and from vastly different cultures, it is these skills that are becoming more crucial and relevant every day.

5.Tell us what you have enjoyed most working at WISS?

Quite simply put: the people; teachers, students, parents and everyone else! WISS is an amazing community to work in. It is supportive, fun and exciting. There is always someone to turn to when needed, regardless of whether that need is help with a school topic or a cup of coffee with colleague and a listening ear. For someone far from home and their family, this is the community and support that is most welcome making WISS a fantastic place to work.

6.What aspect of your class do students seem to enjoy the most?

To be honest I think that my students enjoy my reading to them the most. We choose all sorts of books and if there is a day that I cannot read for some reason, it’s met with a sea of unhappy faces. It is also my most enjoyed moment of the day. In addition to this my students enjoy listening to Disney songs whilst we work (Moana is currently a favourite, naturally) as well as listening to me tell stories about my family or travels, as well as hearing about how I face or overcome various challenges.

7.Any exciting projects for the WISS community to look forward to?

At the moment in Grade 3, we are finishing off our 5th Unit of Inquiry about Simple Machines and our students are very excited about building their own machines and trying to see if they can actually get them to work. In addition to this, during their final unit they will have to build a Utopian City. This project proved massive favourite last year.

Personally I continue to train to take part in the Spartan Race that takes place later this month, as well as for Tough Mudder. Unfortunately the latter got postponed until this coming October. Just as I enjoy telling about these activities in my life, so do my students enjoy hearing about them. I hope that it inspires and gives them courage to do things that challenge them outside of their comfort zone. Currently I am swim training every week, as I have agreed to a race with my students at the end of their swimming unit… Wish me luck! I’m going to need it!