Education: University of Glasgow — Teacher of technological education
University of Strathclyde — Teacher of additional support needs
Qualifications: Postgraduate diploma – Inclusive education
Mindfulness Scotland – Teacher development programme
Open University - Introduction to the autism spectrum
The management of actual or potential aggression at mapa training – certificated
I am a Scottish lassie (female) from Falkirk, in Scotland. Prior to teaching, I spent a number of years in industry. This included running my own furniture restoration business, later working as a detached youth worker, working with many homeless and challenging young people on the streets.
As a mature student, I returned to higher education, and began my teaching career as a secondary school teacher of design and technology (STEM) 11 years ago. After teaching my subject for 3 years, my desire to adopt a more pastoral role came into fruition when I took the time to study evenings and weekends at Strathclyde university in Glasgow (glutton for punishment!) … graduating as a teacher of additional support needs (special education needs). For the next 6 years, I worked within the additional support needs department and autism spectrum disorder department, supporting students to remove any barriers to their learning. This included cross-curricular topics, engaging in gardening, sports championships, working within the local community and enterprising projects across the whole school.
I believe that building relationships is key to achieving positive learning outcomes. I consider myself a caring and sensitive individual, always prioritising the wellbeing of students at all times. In 2016, I was accepted onto the mindfulness Scotland teacher training programme in Glasgow, where I spent a year achieving my accreditation as a mindfulness teacher. This progression stemmed from the need to support students experiencing stress and anxiety. Since then, I have continued to work with children, young people and families by offering support during exam times in the form of small group sessions, workshops and school assemblies.
2 years ago, after both my grown up children moved out of our family home, I decided to fulfil my dream of living and working abroad. I quit my job in Scotland and took up residency in China where I worked in an international school, teaching ESL to primary students outside Shanghai. I decided to put my mindfulness teaching into practice by starting each class with a short mindfulness session and found that the younger students not only enjoyed these sessions, but also showed improvement with focus and engagement. I am therefore excited to continue honing my practice with students by introducing a daily practice to their day.
Although this will be my first time in Moscow, or even Russia, I am looking forward to being part of the Heritage school family and to meeting everyone in person. I am also really excited to embrace the culture, history, food and adventure of your country.
Хобби: I enjoy reading and learning new things, but more so, I love spending time in nature, especially hiking. Although I have managed to ‘bag’ a few Munros (climbed a few Scottish mountains) I have become a tad rusty! When I can, I love to restore furniture and/or have a craft project on the go. I am also a beginner to fire-spinning, acro yoga and juggling!