Teacher Tuesday – Mr Stephen Shand
In this week’s Teacher Tuesday we meet Mr Stephen Shand, who is in his second year of teaching Year 4 at the school:
How many years have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for 12 years as a qualified teacher, and also taught English as an Additional Language for 4 years previously.
Why do you teach?
I always wanted to be Batman. As a child I admired his ‘job’ and what he got to do each day- solving different problems, facing new challenges and working within a team to help change the world. Growing up, I realised that I would need to pursue an actual career. So I abandoned my superhero dreams and set out to find the closest thing. I trained to become a police officer, completed my undergraduate studies in Criminology, served in the Canadian military and even worked as a youth counsellor in a prison. Then I travelled to Korea, where I spent a year working as an EAL teacher. I was immediately drawn to the teaching profession. It’s like doing Batman’s work, but even better.
When did you join KIS?
I started in August 2016.
Where else in the world have you taught?
USA, Canada, Korea, Taiwan and West Malaysia
How would you describe the students at KIS?
Working with the students is the best part of teaching at KIS. The Primary children are fun, friendly and full of personality. Each one brings their own unique energy to the learning environment. I might be a little biased but, having taught at a number of schools before coming to KIS, I can say that the students here truly are a pleasure to teach.
Is there a topic, trip or activity that you’ve particularly enjoyed since you’ve been at KIS?
Not one in particular, as there’s been so many: I really liked The Roman Dress-Up Feast at the Little Italy restaurant. The Year 4 Residential in Kiulu was also an amazing experience- everybody really came together and supported each other through the different challenges. It was also delightful watching children build their arcade games with recycled materials. The Clouded Leopard Charity Arcade raised almost RM700 for the Lok Kawi Wildlife Centre.
What is your favourite classroom resource and why?
It’s got to be our computer. I still remember the day that ‘technology’ first arrived in my primary school classroom. It was 1983 and we got a class computer. The machine was massive, had a huge keyboard and could only hold 20 kb in its internal memory. There was no internet and it had just one math game. This year the classroom computer in 4S has played a vital role in many of our lessons. The computer controls our interactive smartboard, keeps track of house points, grants access to the internet and is also the doorway to the 4S Class Blog- our virtual learning environment.
How can parents best support their children in their studies?
Become involved in your child’s learning and display a keen interest in their progress. Try to praise their resilient efforts often, as they are also great achievements. Communicate regularly with teachers and attend every parent teacher conference, even if there are no pressing concerns. Taking the time to have that 10 minute chat very clearly demonstrates your interest and support. Read regularly with your child, read regularly to your child and read regularly in their presence.
Tell us a little known fact about you:
In high school I worked part time as a chicken catcher. It’s an actual job.
What do you like most about living in Sabah?
The sunsets, the people and the food.