Teacher Tuesday – Mrs Amy Garrick
Teacher Tuesday returns following our school holiday with Mrs Amy Garrick, who teaches Year 1 at KIS:
How many years have you been in teaching and where have you taught?
This is my eighth year teaching and my first teaching post away from the UK. Previously I have taught in primary schools in my hometown, Scarborough. It is a small, and very pretty, seaside town on the North East coast of England.
How would you describe the KIS community?
The KIS community is one of the friendliest and most supportive communities I have had the pleasure of working in. What is so wonderful here is that it is not just the teachers who make up the team, it is every member of staff, all of the parents, and most importantly, the children.
What do you find most rewarding about being a teacher?
Of course I absolutely love to see the huge amount of progress that the children make during their time in school, but what I really find the most rewarding is igniting something in the children that makes them passionate about what they are learning. When they go home at the end of the day and are keen to discuss their learning with others and continue to research or practice what they have been taught over and over again.
What is your favourite classroom resource and why?
It has to be the smartboard. I use it every single lesson without fail, whether we are researching on the internet, singing maths songs, reading stories, playing games, it is useful in so many ways and very valuable in supporting the children’s learning.
What is your favourite picture book for Year 1’s and why?
This is a really hard question because there are so many picture books that I absolutely love. Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers is a beautiful story about friendship. There is no speech in the story which leaves it open to interpretation by the children. I absolutely adore the illustrations, and the short movie it has been made into is fantastic. However, I would have to say that I do love Julia Donaldson books, and my favourite is ‘Room on the Broom’. I used to read this to my own children when they were younger and the repetition and rhyme meant that they were able to join in with the story very easily. They loved adding actions and doing silly voices for the characters too. I’m sure they could still recite it by heart now if they tried!
You’ve been at KIS since August 2017, what is your favourite memory of your time here?
There are so many wonderful moments to choose from, but for me it would have to be the educational visits, particularly MERC at Gayana. It always amazes me how much the children get out of school trips, but it’s even better when I am learning new things too!
As a teacher of some of our younger students, what advice do you have for parents whose children are in their early school years?
I would have to say that regardless of a child’s age, it is crucial that we as parents, are interested in and supportive of their learning. As a teacher I notice that the children who read regularly at home, and whose parents are interested in speaking to their children and supporting their learning experiences outside of school too, are usually the children who make the best academic progress. Ensuring that children arrive at school ready to learn is also very important; having plenty of sleep and a good breakfast helps enormously with this.
Where in the world would you like to visit?
Everywhere! Actually, I feel very lucky because the place we wanted to visit most is where we now live. Most of the travelling we have done since we arrived last year has been around Borneo, and we have loved every minute of it. We had a short break in Singapore over the Summer holidays, and a few days in KL over Christmas.
If you could have dinner with someone famous who would it be and why?
I don’t think that I could pick just one person, so I am going to pick the whole cast of ‘Friends’. This was one of my favourite shows as a teenager, and I still love it now (I’m one of those annoying people who recites the script as I am watching). A friend of mine worked on the Friends set when they were filming in London and got invited to Matt Le Blanc’s birthday party. I have always been quite envious of that!
What do you enjoy doing in KK when you’re not working?
One of my favourite things to do in KK is visit the islands. They are so different to the beach in my hometown, and always make me feel like I am on holiday. Before we moved to KK we had never even snorkeled, and now we are planning on learning how to dive. It’s incredible how life can change so quickly.
As a family, we love to spend time at the Sutera Harbour. It’s so easy to please everyone when going there as there are so many different activities available. We especially like the bowling and have a little family competition going on to improve our average scores. I’d like to say I’m winning, but it would be very far from the truth!