Ella Cordery joined Bangkok Patana in August 2021 in the Secondary Drama department. She grew up south of London, near Gatwick, but lived and worked in London for 10 years. This is her first job teaching internationally, did travel in Thailand for about six weeks before COVID and is looking forward to seeing more.
“One of the things that drew me to Bangkok Patana was how diverse the school community seemed, both students and staff,” explained Ella, “Coming from previously working in a diverse inner-city school and a special educational needs school prior to that, it is important to me to work somewhere that not only has a diverse community but also embraces and celebrates diversity and inclusion. I think that learning from others through their experiences, values and traditions is a very important part of life as it enables us to see the world from different perspectives, helping us to grow as individuals and become the best global citizens we can be. I love that Patana has global citizenship as one of it’s core values. Additionally, I found the value that Patana places on the Arts and being a champion of the Arts was a big draw. The learning outside the classroom at Patana is amazing. For me, extra-curricular opportunities are just as important as classroom-based learning as it is here where students’ confidence usually flourishes. Patana does learning outside the classroom very well.”
“Now that I’ve been here for a little while, I feel my first impressions have only been amplified! I have learnt what a community feeling the school has. Even without children in the school there is clearly still such a community feeling among the staff, parents and local community outside of school. I can’t wait to experience that even more once school reopens. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, so supportive –I haven’t experienced such a supportive environment before. Since beginning teaching here, I have really noticed how verbally articulate the students are. Even on Teams they are really keen to interact with you and offer well justified and thoughtful contributions. I am excited to see how that translates in the classroom once we are back on campus.”
“I have been working in education for about 10 years. I started as a student council and community outreach coordinator in a Secondary school where I set up the school’s first student council and voice program. I then moved into teaching performing arts at a special educational needs school, which gave me experiences that I will continue to be humbled by throughout my career. Previously to arriving at Patana, I worked in as a Head of Year and a drama teacher at a Secondary school in central London. As a Head of Year, my main focus was on the pastoral care of the students; for me, it’s the backbone of any school. Children can’t learn effectively unless they feel safe, happy and confident. However, coming to Patana as a drama teacher, I wanted to refocus on my classroom practice and continue to develop my love of drama in the classroom again.”
Developing positive relationships with students and parents is the best skill you can have as a teacher. Taking time outside of the curriculum to get to know the students and what drives them creates lasting relationships which translates into deep and memorable learning. I also believe that it is really important that students feel they can relate to the curriculum by finding ‘a hook’ that is relatable to them. Things are hard to remember if the content isn’t important to you. Sometimes it helps to go outside the lesson plan and find those little anecdotes that can make learning come alive and feel tangible.”
“I love dancing, all types of music and getting recommendations for new music from people. I am a big fan of 90s dance and hip-hop. I have visited Thailand before, but I am definitely excited to visit more places. I am interested in learning about the culture and eating delicious food! I love cooking and baking so students and staff will hopefully be receiving some sweet treats from me when we can get back onto campus.”
“I have to say something unique about me is that I am double jointed and can bend my thumb back to my wrist, so I am looking forward to the Khon dance classes at IB Theatre Studies! A fun fact is that I got to meet the Spice Girls when I was a child. I was lucky to go backstage at a concert at Wembley concert when I was six years. I remember being surprised that they didn’t look as glamourous as I had imagined them to be when I saw them on stage!”