Meet the New Teacher – Zoe Ball – Secondary English Teacher, Year 11 Tutor


Introducing our new Secondary English teacher, Zoe Ball.

Zoe grew up in rural Essex and attended the University of Leicester where she earned a BA in International Relations and English. She earned her Master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of College London and her PGCE in Secondary English from Canterbury Christ Church University. Zoe has been working at a school in Siem Reap that assists the children of rice paddy farmers to prepare for college both in Cambodia and overseas.

“After I finished my BA in English and International Relations, I spent several years travelling and working before embarking on the Teach First programme in London. Through this, I obtained my PGCE in Secondary English and Master’s in Educational Leadership. After a four-year stint at a challenging London Secondary School, I moved Siem Reap, Cambodia to an academically selective school which aims to prepare rural Cambodian students from low- income backgrounds for an American-college education. I love living in Southeast Asia – the weather, the people and the food are divine. I enjoy all forms of movement – especially cycling, dancing and yoga – and look forward to participating in some activities in Bangkok!

In the Teach First programme I worked with young people who needed lots of support and from multicultural backgrounds and I was really attracted to that idea and was intrigued by how to facilitate that among my students. One of the things that is so appealing about Bangkok Patana School is that it is very multicultural. I am looking forward to helping the students bring the richness of their multicultural backgrounds into my classroom.

I am feeling incredibly positive about the amount of resources that are available to the students and teachers here at Bangkok Patana. I am impressed with the library and the support available. You can book the librarians to make presentations on specific subjects. Learning support and the degree of support that is available to the students is really impressive. It seems as though everything is so personalised, that each student is nurtured and pushed to be their best. It really shows that the resources are put back in the school.

I am very open to questions and to discussing texts and ways parents can support their children if they want. I’d love to start a student – parent book club where parents and students can discuss books together. I had that discussion in my family growing up and having those discussions engaged me to look at the text in a different way.

I hope that I am able to encourage students to question and to look at a text from a variety of different perspectives and to acknowledge that there isn’t a blanket interpretation. I want to help them to question, to look at the time period and how it relates to the context. One of my favourite books is the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, I really like The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and always encourage the students to read the book first. You get so much more out of the context than you do by watching the show.”

Learn about all our new teachers here: https://www.patana.ac.th/new-teachers-2019-20/