“While we were disappointed that we couldn’t come here as students, we felt the next best thing would be to come here as teachers.”
Joe O’Neill is a Year 3 teacher. He comes to Bangkok Patana after teaching in Hastings, UK, for over five years.
“Laura (my partner) and I were interested in working overseas as we were looking for a new challenge and adventure. When we looked at international schools, we asked ourselves, “If we were students, which school would we most want to go to? We felt that if we were students and saw what Bangkok Patana offered in terms of the curriculum, campus, ECAs, Sport, Music, DofE or Drama, it seemed the most exciting and engaging school you could go to as a student. While we were disappointed that we couldn’t come here as students, we felt the next best thing would be to come here as teachers.”
“The children are very engaging, imaginative and kind. I have also really enjoyed how green the campus is and seeing all the wildlife. Coming from a smaller school, it has been a big change. There are more teachers in Year 3 at Bangkok Patana than there were in my whole school. However, I have found everyone here very supportive, it’s a great collaborative environment. I am learning a lot from the other teachers, for example, from working with the EAL Teachers in Year 3.”
“I started teaching through the ‘Teach First’ programme, where I was placed in a school in Hastings. I worked there as an Early Years and Year 3 teacher for a few years before I moved to a Primary School to become the Early Years Teacher and Lead. I loved being a part of ‘Teach First’ – it was a dynamic training experience, based on all the latest academic research and pedagogy; it was both a challenging and rewarding experience. As a cohort, we worked with other highly motivated people who were passionate about education. We made many life-long friends amongst the other Teach First participants. So far, working at Bangkok Patana has felt remarkably similar, both socially and from a teaching perspective, which is exactly what we were looking for.”
In terms of teaching practice, my biggest passion is oracy. Oracy is the ability to communicate effectively. Often, the knowledge and skills that enable effective discussion, inspiring speech and clear communication are not taught explicitly. The ‘Oracy Framework’ illustrates the different areas children need to develop in to become clear, confident, and engaging communicators. This could include body language or confidence in speaking publicly. How children use their voice can not only deepen their own learning and the learning of those around them, but it can be a powerful tool for social mobility. Therefore, I am passionate about giving children the opportunity to speak, discuss and develop the skills to become confident orators. My first school was a national ‘Talk for Writing’ training center, and I would love to use that experience here.
In my free time I enjoy hiking and exploring and I love swimming. I play football, cricket and I attempt to play golf. I enjoy reading as well, my favourite authors are John Steinbeck and N.K. Jemisin. I am a big music fan and have really missed live music, dancing and going to music festivals during the pandemic. At university my friends and I ran a radio show and during lockdown we reunited to make our own Corona Island Discs podcast; I loved seeing a similar feature in the Patana News!