Our new Year 4 teacher, Laura Renesto, earned her MA in Education and International Development from University College London after completing her thesis in quarantine.
“It was last summer when my partner Joe and I started to research international schools here in Bangkok after five years teaching in the UK. We came across Bangkok Patana School and even from the website we were really impressed with the opportunities for both students and staff. The campus looked incredible with a big focus on learning beyond the classroom across a wide range of extracurricular activities. For staff, there looked to be a big focus on career development, which is important to me. I was looking to start my international teaching career in a school that if I were a child, I would love to attend. Bangkok Patana definitely stood out as that school.”
“From the moment I arrived, I have found everyone to be overwhelmingly supportive and friendly; there is such a positive atmosphere. My team in Year 4 have been fantastic. I am really enjoying collaborating with enthusiastic, experienced like-minded teachers. The curriculum is familiar as I taught a British curriculum in the UK. For such a large school, it is very well-organised here and people communicate very well. I was pleasantly surprised at how green the Bangkok Patana campus is and considering Bangkok is a big city, it is a little oasis of calm.”
“I worked mainly in Year 5 and 6 for five years at my old school and I was involved in all the residential trips and primary drama performances which I really enjoyed. In my second year of teaching I was involved with a British Council ‘Connecting Classrooms’ project linking my school in Hastings, UK to a school in Hastings, Sierra Leone. It was a fantastic opportunity for the children in both schools to develop their global citizenship, something I am passionate about instilling in my students. The teachers also did an exchange. I travelled to teach in Sierra Leone for two weeks and then a group of teachers from Sierra Leone came to teach in the UK. It was a great experience to teach in a completely different setting and be part of school life with some fantastic children and teachers.
“As a teaching practitioner, I find it so important to make learning relevant to real life. Building the bigger picture by linking their new learning to things they already know I think is key, even if it is building blocks for what they will do later in life. Children are more open to learning when they can see how relevant it is to their life.”
“Outside of the classroom I enjoy being outside in nature. During the UK lockdown last year I had an allotment growing all sorts of fruit and vegetables and spent many hours walking the South Downs. I am really looking forward to exploring Thailand on foot! I also love floristry. I have been a part-time florist for many years making beautiful bouquets for special occasions. I can’t wait to wander the plant and flower markets here in Bangkok. Like many international teachers I have always been a keen traveller and have explored a lot of South East Asia, which is why I was drawn to Bangkok. I have even spent time in freezing climates in the Arctic Circle as a chalet host. I saw the breath-taking Northern Lights, lots of reindeer and even a few elves!”