Teacher Feature – Miss Rien.
Briefly describe your journey as a teacher.
I consider myself an eternal student, and that joy of learning drives my passion for teaching. As Maya Angelou said, “If you get give, if you learn teach.”
I think that my journey as a teacher began when I was just 10 years old. Inspired by the many amazing educators in my family and at school, I would spend many playtimes reading stories to small groups of kindergarteners, unbeknownst to me, at the time, that my life’s trajectory would lead me towards a very blessed opportunity of becoming an educator myself.
As a young university student, my first teaching experience was as a conversational English teacher to a group of Japanese exchange students. I found it challenging yet invigorating, and I soon decided to pair teaching with my love of travel. As soon as I could, I packed my bags and headed to Thailand.
After teaching EAL classes in Thailand, I found my way to France and was grateful to be offered a student teaching position in a local high school whilst I continued my studies in Francophone literature and Maghreb culture. These amazing experiences confirmed my passion for teaching, and after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree, I moved to Bahrain in the summer of 2002 to teach at a primary school and later coordinate the Microscholarship Programme in collaboration with the US Embassy and the Ministry of Education.
In 2006, not long after receiving a teaching credential and a Master’s Degree in Education, I joined Nadeen School as a parent and Year 3 teacher. Over the years, I have been blessed with a variety of teaching roles across Key Stage 1 and 2. This year, I welcome the new challenge of working as part of the Inclusion Team for Year 6 and Year 7.
Why did you decide to specialise in your chosen area?
When I was deciding on my Master’s focus, I knew that primary education and philosophy were my callings. I was also very passionate about global advocacy in education and I spent my Master’s thesis focusing on the accessibility and learning retention of EAL learners in international primary schools. I also found myself fascinated by Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences, which I later used as a foundation to inform my teaching style of listening to children’s unique learning behaviour. Over the years, my love of learning has also found me exploring therapeutic art practice which uses an approach to teaching social, and emotional wellness through art, movement and mindfulness techniques.
What makes Nadeen such a unique place to work?
Have you been to one of our International Days? If not, I won’t spoil the fun of the surprise, but I will say that this day alone demonstrates what a wonderfully, colourful community we have. Even more importantly, it will tell you a story of how the children embrace each other no matter what colour, size or shape of crayon they are in the pack.
How would you describe a typical day at Nadeen?
The day begins as a catchy 80s or 90s tune welcomes you in the car park and has you bopping through the gate. You greet the staff on duty, whilst propping open the door for one child who has a t-shirt decorated with their favourite equation in honour of Number Day, and for another child with an amazing replica of a Mayan pyramid. The sound of the Bahrain National Anthem announces the start of the morning, followed by a whirlwind of excitement around sciences, literacy, arts and sports- all of which have the children saying “I can’t believe it’s already the end of the day!”
Before packing up, the “compost crew” come around to collect all compostable items, including the banana peel that you finally remembered to compost. Well done! As the clock strikes 2 o’clock, you wave a big goodbye at the gate to the children who gleefully say their farewells to friends, teachers, staff and of course, Cookie (the campus cat).