Every Child Is Unique, and a Teacher Is There to Develop the Whole Child
An interview with Jodie Lewis, EYFS Coordinator and Class Teacher
Jodie Lewis joined BSB in 2014. She qualified with
a BA(Hons) in Primary Education from the University of Central England in
2001 and worked for four years in a mainstream primary school in the UK. Jodie
then taught in a special needs school for
children with profound and multiple learning difficulties. She moved into
international teaching 12 years ago and taught in Egypt and Kuwait, before
moving to Bucharest as a KS1 coordinator and returned after her maternity
leave as EYFS coordinator.
Why did you go into teaching?
I had always thought about teaching, but also had a love for Art. So, after my A-Levels, I did an Art Foundation course at college. I had considered doing an Arts Degree, and then possibly teaching. At college, they arranged for me to support an ‘artist in residence’ at a local primary school. I learnt so much from this opportunity and it confirmed to me that primary teaching was the route I wanted to take . Children are spontaneous, unpredictable, fun and adventurous. No day in teaching is ever the same, it is, therefore, impossible to be bored when working with young children, their energy and enthusiasm is infectious.
In how many countries have you lived?
Four, including England, Egypt, Kuwait and Romania. Egypt was my first international post. It was such an interesting country, a little bit quirky, but full of amazing history. There I met my husband and my first son was born in Alexandria; so it will always have a special place in my heart.
In which school that you taught was most different from BSB? From a cultural and sociological point of view.
My first teaching post in the UK was in an urban school located on a housing estate, with little cultural diversity. It was an ‘improving school’, so there were lots of changes and developments that needed to take place. I learnt a lot in my four years there as the school grew and improved, and I gained a wealth of experiences. Fundamentally understanding that it is not just the curriculum that is important, but the development of the whole child, as well as the impact that family life and the local community can have on children.
You have also taught in a special needs school. Can you tell us a bit about how working with children with learning difficulties challenged you, both as an educator and as an individual?
Working at a special educational needs school was incredibly challenging, both physically and emotionally, but at the same time extremely rewarding. There I learnt the value of teamwork, as I was lucky to work with an amazing team, including TAs, nurses, occupational and speech therapists and lunch supervisors, who were all immensely patient, dedicated to their job and committed to the children. It was like one big family. I truly loved my role there and I celebrated the most incredible achievements with my pupils and, on the flip side, experienced some of the saddest moments in my 19 years of teaching. Every child is unique, and a teacher is there to develop the whole child and to celebrate their achievements, however big or small. Being a teacher is so much more than just teaching.
What inspires you to be creative?
The children and the team I work with are all the inspiration I need.
If you weren’t a full-time teacher, what would your dream job be?
I would like to think that working in a book shop would mean I could test out the merchandise; allowing me to read books and drink coffee all day. I know that this is not realistic, so teaching is my dream job.
What are you enjoying most about Bucharest so far?
After living in the Middle East, a move to a country with so many green areas and four defined seasons was very exciting. Springtime in Bucharest is still my favourite, although I love to see the array of colours in the forest in Autumn. Bucharest is family-friendly and has lots to entertain my two children. The countryside and mountains are beautiful and there are many places we still want to explore.