Monday, November 17, 2014

From India and Barcelona to London

Teaching in a Primary British School

Anjali is practicing a job that is fulfilling for her, combining love for children and passion for teaching. She teaches but also learns from little children in a primary school in UK's capital city. 
Read her thoughs and views on what she does and where she lives.

Name:  Anjali Pamnani
Age:     26
From:   India (born in Barcelona)
To:       London, UK
For:     Primary Teacher (3rd grade)

1. Where do you come from and where have you lived. 

I am of Indian origin but was born and brought up in Barcelona. I have lived in Barcelona, Milan, Chennai, Coventry, and London.

2. Your basic academic background and interest.

I went to an American International school in Barcelona which I absolutely loved. The school was still small and everyone was so united. I then pursued a career in Advertising and Public Relations. This degree opened my eyes to how vast and complex the media world is. It was fascinating! After my degree I decided to go to India where I did a course called the Youth Empowerment Programme. Through this 1 year course I travelled and taught in several local schools. It was during this course where I discovered my passion towards teaching and education. That is why, 2 year after India I decided to get my teacher certificate in the UK where I am now currently teaching a year 3 class.

3.  Your motivation to live abroad and the country you’ve chosen. 

I love travelling.  But living abroad is not the same thing as travelling. What truly fascinates me about living in a new city is how new everything is. The learning is simply exponential. By stepping out of our comfort zone we become more alert and observe as much as we can in order to understand how to survive in the city. Ultimately, moving to a new city means making that city home, even if it is just for a short period of time. The world is huge, there are so many places to see, how can we just limit ourselves to living in one city our whole life? There is simply so much to learn and see and do and experience!
I was always very curious about living in London. It’s such a buzzing city and so close to home too. Perfect for an adventure.

4. Your job. What do you do. 

I am currently a year 3 (7-8 year old children) teacher in London. London is a very interesting city to teach in: the classes are filled with so many diverse cultures that it truly makes the whole teaching experience very unique. A teacher in the UK is expected to teach all of the subjects: from English to Science to Physical Education to Art.

5.  The reason you chased this job. 

My job is my passion. I used to work in marketing before I started my current job and although I did enjoy it, there was something missing. When I travelled to India I discovered how much I loved to teach and what an amazing profession it is. It is one of the few professions in the world that you know that every single day you are making a difference in the life of at least one child.


6. The class. The children, their age and the atmosphere.

My kids are lovely. I have a very culturally dynamic group of 7 and 8 years olds. They all come from different backgrounds and cultures but the blend is absolutely lovely. It’s very interesting to observe how despite their differences there are so many similarities. What I find most fascinating about teaching these children is that you can already project how the personality of these children will be when they grow up. 

7. Something priceless about this job. 

The minute you see how a child learns a new concept. The minute you see that smile flash across their face and they’re so excited because they understand what you’ve taught them. The minute a child comes up to you and gives you a hug; they truly know how to make you feel special.

8. …and the most difficult thing about it.

The most difficult thing is reaching out to the needs of each child. The education in the UK believes in an inclusive education where children with special needs are in mainstream schools. It is difficult to bring out the potential of each child when there are so many needs in a classroom. But with the support of several teachers and different strategies, we all do our best to make sure each child makes progress.
Another challenge rather than difficulty about this job is that you’re always being watched. Whether you are aware of it or not, there are always 2 little eyes looking up to you. A role of a teacher is not only to teach but to also live up to the principles and values that you want your children to have. What makes it challenging is that you must always show yourself at your best, regardless the obstacles you have to face. Teachers are role models for children, if I expect my children to behave in a certain way and imbibe certain values, then I must be the first one to practice them.

9. An unforgettable moment in the class. 

Uff so many! The day I played a song to the children and the next day they had learnt it. The day one of my most able children in maths wanted to miss his playtime so that I could teach him a new addition strategy. The day a parent told me that their child really looks up to me.  It’s the small things that truly touch your heart.

10. What children get most excited about. 

Children love learning new things. They love to learn songs that are relevant to them and explore the world of animals. They simply love to use their most creative imagination and write an adventure story. They get excited with anything that looks fun and is colourful. They’re so innocent, it’s really sweet.

11. Your personal highest value of education.

I truly believe that everyone has a right to an education. Education doesn’t only mean knowing how to add numbers or write stories or learn facts. I believe it is equally important to teach children how to be good human beings. It is hence extremely important as a teacher, that we are role models.

12. The hardest thing to get used to in London. 

The transport. It takes way too long to get from one place to the other. Public transport is also so unreliable. And the people in the public transport. Everyone walks in their own little bubble and nobody really cares when they bump into you.

13. People of the city in 3 words. 

Fighters, cold, accommodative.

14. Your furthest dream. 

Realistic: start a school.
A little unrealistic: to work for the UN.

15. Your personal definition of “home”

Home is where you have people that you can call family. A place where friends become family and family becomes friends. Home is where you heart smiles and feels light. Home is a place where you feel that you can be you and nothing else matters.

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