Teaching is Teamwork
Raluca Bobeica joined the British School of Bucharest in 2016. She has an M.A. in Public Relations & Communication and a B.A. in Foreign Languages. Before joining the School, Raluca was an English Teacher and a freelance photographer, working with children aged two to 15.
Why did you choose to become a Teaching Assistant at BSB?
I have always been interested in teaching. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my parents at their workplace. They are both in the teaching environment. I would go with my father, or his colleagues, to their lessons and I would play pretend, I acted as the teacher. Their students enjoyed having a 6 or 7 year-old Raluca trying to teach them.
What qualities are necessary to be an excellent Teaching Assistant?
You have to be good with children, I think that is one of the most important qualities. You have to be well prepared, take part in the planning meetings and provide feedback to the Class Teacher about the children you have worked with. Be patient and adapt your teaching style according to the children you are working with. Be flexible, anything can happen, you just need to be able to switch on.
What expectations did you have before coming to BSB? Were they met?
Since it was my first-time teaching children, I expected to have guidance, a mentor, someone I could ask for advice when in doubt, and I did. The TA Coordinator at that time offered me a lot of support, we would have weekly meetings. I have also received a lot of support and help from Mrs. Smith, we would have lesson observations and after she would give me pointers to help me be better.
How do you help children succeed in School?
This is different from child to child. Communication is key. You have to know what their needs are and try to meet them. Also, this is where the adaptability comes into play. If you are not able to adapt, you might not be able to help.
How has your experience as a photographer helped you to better connect with students?
When you take pictures of children, or people in general, you end up seeing them in a different light. A lot of children like having their pictures taken but they also want to see the picture after and showing them the picture and talking to them about it, about what they like and they don't like, helps you connect with them.
What do you find the most rewarding in working with children?
The most rewarding thing is seeing the progress they make, for example, when a child has zero English and after a few months you can have a conversation in English with them.
It is also very rewarding when they trust you and you are the person they want to talk to when they want to share something good that happened to them or when they don't feel great and want someone to be there for them.
What are the most valuable lessons you've learned from the children you've taught?
Not everything has to be perfect to be good. You have to be silly sometimes. Release your inner child.
What are the most significant challenges that you've faced up until now in your professional life?
The past year has been quite challenging with the pandemic but I had an amazing team to support me. I don't think I would have been able to cope without them.
If you weren't a Teacher, what would your dream job be?
When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian but also a singer.
And finally: tell us something unexpected about yourself.
I went to a music school for eight years, in parallel with regular school.
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