Teacher Tuesday: Mrs Nicky Russell
Mrs Nicky Russell is the Head of Primary at KIS and in this week’s Teacher Tuesday we find out more how she recruits her teaching team, and which famous person she had lunch with as a young student!
How many years have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for 19 years.
When did you join KIS?
I joined KIS in August 2006 as the class teacher for a mixed Year 3 & 4 class.
Use three words to describe KIS
Fun, family, friendly
What year groups have you taught in Primary during your time at KIS?
When I joined KIS the school was so small that we had mixed year groups. There were only 5 classes in the whole of Primary. Since then I have taught all of the year groups from Foundation 1 through to Year 5, including a composite KS2 class that we ran before we went to two form entry. Since becoming Head of Primary I have also covered teaching in Year 6.
As Head of Primary what is your most valuable resource and why?
It has to be our teachers. They are all highly qualified and experienced, as well as being flexible in their teaching styles. Whenever I go into one of their classes the lessons that I have the privilege of seeing are always interactive, fun and stimulating for the children, encouraging them to develop a hunger for learning, which will help them develop a lifelong love of learning.
What do you look for when recruiting teaching staff?
I look for people who are passionate about teaching, who want to help students to develop their full potential. I also look for adaptability and people who work well as part of a team.
If a time machine could take you anywhere for one day, when/where would you go?
I would want to go forward in time by about 30 years to see what type of jobs our students are doing. We need to prepare our current students for jobs that have not been invented yet and give them the skills that they will need to be able to research and explore new concepts and ideas with creativity. Having a crystal ball or a time machine to leap forward in time would really help with this.
If you could be a character from a children’s book who would you be?
I would like to be the Little Miss characters by Roger Hargreaves. They cover lots of different types of people, Little Miss Happy, Little Miss Clever, Little Miss Funny, Little Miss Busy, Little Miss Careful, Little Miss Daredevil… the list is endless.
What is the best thing about being a teacher?
If I can be cheeky, I would like to make this into two questions:
What is the best thing about being a teacher at KIS? – Being party of a huge family that comes from all around the world. After being here for so long, I really feel like I have an extended family. It is also lovely coming to school with both my boys every day and seeing them happy in their learning environment.
What is the best thing about being a teacher in general? – Loving my job and, no matter how much I plan for a day ahead, never quite knowing what will happen during a day. Will I be asked to cover a class? What students will come to see me to show me some excellent work? What conversations will I have as I walk across the playground with a student? Which new students or parents will I meet?
Tell us a little known fact about you:
When I was 14 I had lunch with Princess Diana. I had won a “Child Of Achievement Award” for my work with disabled children and she presented it to me during a Gala Lunch at London’s Guildhall.
Eleven years in Sabah is a long time. Is there anywhere that you haven’t been to yet that you’d like to visit?
Yes, I came to Sabah with a young child and had another baby after being here for two years, so I didn’t do much travelling during my first few years here. I would still love to go to the Kinabatangan one day. Seeing the Pygmy Elephants in the wild is a dream of mine.