Positive Endeavours in P.E.
An interview with Louise Thomas, Teacher of Physical Education and Careers Coordinator
Louise Thomas joined the British School of Bucharest in 2019 as a P.E. Teacher. She attended the University of Portsmouth and obtained, with Honours, a Bachelors Degree in Sports Development. After her PGCE, Louise taught in England and the UAE. Louise is hugely passionate about the learning and development of young people and has also had recent experience within the industry in London.
Why did you become a Careers Coordinator?
I believe that if students have been inspired at school to pursue a certain career, have a passion, or have a job in mind, that they will be more motivated to work hard to gain the qualifications they need. I think work experience is a great opportunity for students to learn valuable lessons outside the school environment, so I welcomed the chance to facilitate this at BSB. Having spent a couple of years in the corporate world, I gained a good understanding of the different pressures, environments and expectations of working for a large company. Therefore, I feel I can talk confidently to the students about the different pathways available to them for their career aspirations. Whether this be, university then graduate schemes, apprenticeships or further education.
What made you want to join BSB?
A former employee, whom I taught with in the UAE, highly recommended BSB to me and Bucharest as a city. The more I found out about BSB the more I was excited to join. I think the fact that a lot of teachers have a long tenure at the school speaks volumes and I intend to be here for a long while too!
What do you love most about your job?
The relationships with the students, and when they achieve something new or difficult that I have taught them. I think most teachers would agree that it is extremely rewarding when you see a student understand a concept or complete a new skill or task, that they couldn’t before, all because of your teaching. Being a specialist teacher, I teach throughout the Primary and Secondary School so it’s great to know so many students. I love that when I am walking around campus, I can say hello to all the students of different ages.
What are the most asked questions during these special times?
“Can I take off my mask?” is a frequent one! When the students are in P.E. lessons on the field or green pitch, as long as they are socially distancing, they can take them off. However, in the dome and inside they need to have them on, therefore I get asked this a lot. There are inevitably a lot of questions from students about the future, some of which we don’t have the answers to yet. I think they are looking forward to being able to pass the ball to each other and play certain games again, as I have been asked when this will happen by most classes, most days.
What advice do you have for parents, to keep their children active?
Aim to do something active everyday – getting their heart rate up and exercising releases endorphins (the happy hormone!). On non-P.E. days, a walk, swim or cycle after School; playing football in the garden or park, or something they enjoy would be great. Active weekends, that get them out into the fresh air, helps to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. This also has a positive effect on their mental health and their ability to cope with work and for the older students, the stress of exams. Frequent exercise can aid sleep too, which is an important factor for general health and well-being.
If you weren’t a P.E. teacher and a Careers Coordinator, what would your dream job be?
To own a bespoke travel company that designed individually tailored travel experiences for people – off the beaten track. One of my biggest passions is travel, so it would be amazing to share and educate more people about places they haven’t even heard of yet (and I would get to visit them too; for research of course!).
And finally: tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I broke my arm twice in quick succession as a teenager and now I cannot open my arm out flat – not ideal for a P.E. teacher!