Jessica De Borja is excited to help students explore their diversity through drama.
Secondary Drama teacher
Welcome to our new Secondary Drama teacher Jessica De Borja. She comes to us after working in a British School in Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong is home for me, although I lived in California and Texas as a young child, I grew up in Hong Kong and went to a British school there. My mother is a medical journalist and was the first reporter to break the story on SARS. When COVID-19 hit, she was covering it, so she updates me on everything!”
“I was ready for a change after so many years in Hong Kong. I’ve been to different parts in Thailand and always thought I would love to live here. The eight years at my old school went so fast, then a friend of mine messaged me about the new job here at Bangkok Patana. When I started looking into it, I really loved the energy. Also, I met Katie Meadows a few years ago when we hosted an ISTA drama festival in Hong Kong.”
“I love working with Katie, we’ve only had short face-to-face interactions, but I think you can tell right away what kind of practitioner someone is when we start talking about drama together. There is a really great energy in the Drama department; we are all excited to try new things. The fact that Bangkok Patana’s core value is about well-being says a lot about the people that surround us. This is my first overseas position, but it’s been nice to meet everyone; there is a real sense of community here. In my previous school I was a local hire and started part-time so I didn’t get the induction week experience, the one here was fun for me. The students are really keen and I am looking forward to having them in.”
The Journey to Education
“I studied communications and journalism in university and when I came back to Hong Kong I started working for Star TV & Fox but it wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. I got into an ECA drama provider in a number of international schools in Hong Kong which I really enjoyed. Then someone suggested I might be a teacher. I joined the school I had trained in as a student to work part-time and also worked freelance. I went to the UK and did drama training and that’s when I was sure I wanted to be a drama teacher.”
“I always hear teachers tell me they had traumatising experiences in drama as a student, so I want to make sure that doesn’t happen to our students! I like to have ice breaker activities to help students get to know each other and I get to know them. I like to map out the continents in the room and students will choose where they are from or where they have lived on the map. Students get to see how unique their journeys are when they share their backgrounds. I have had students also then look at the theatre traditions of where they are from or where they have lived to share with each other. It allows us to look at ourselves through a global view, celebrate where we are from and show how unique our experiences are. I am looking forward to putting the stories of SE Asia in our units and projects – this way we can learn a bit more about our students’ varying cultural background. Drama is about storytelling, getting the shy students to understand that drama is learning about the world around us through stories and sharing these stories. Also, I think focusing on peer feedback and meaningful feedback for students helps to show students that we are all learning together.”
Just for fun!
“I absolutely love food and looking forward to doing food tours! I love reading, I also belong to a couple of online book clubs, it’s amazing what you can do online these days! I did film production when studying at university, so I enjoy film, watching and writing about them. I live and breathe theatre; I started to produce and stage my own theatre shows and projects in 2018, in support of women’s associations and non-profits in Hong Kong.”
“I have done a lot of voice-over work and dubbed quite a few animes into English. I have a lot of characters’ voices. Also, I have never seen snow which surprises everyone!”