We are all PYP international teachers in Scandinavia and have found the Viking Land gradually becoming a part of us. Even the cold and relatively dark days of winter are amazingly easy to get through when you have twenty (ok sometimes thirty) smiling faces looking at you, ready to try something new. We all have a passion for teaching in international environments where a mishmash of cultures is a daily occurrence and learning to broaden yourself and take risks is part of the everyday, normal experience.
Jenny is originally from the US but has lived/studied/taught/spent excessive amounts of time in Sweden, England, Spain, and Denmark. When she first came to Scandinavia she thought learning Swedish or Danish was about as useful as learning Klingon. Since that time, she has married a Dane and gained two gorgeous Danish speaking step-kids. She now speaks passable Danish and understands Swedish, especially when it is spoken by beautiful people (i.e. her parents).
She used to want to be a doctor, but along the way realized that would mean dealing with blood – which is just disgusting. So, she became a teacher and proved everyone wrong who said that teaching will never pay off student loans. Actually, that bit about student loans may be true, but there is no better career for being able to work all over the world and make a difference in everyday simple ways. Thankfully, she is able to use her dozen plus years of teaching English to over 30 different language backgrounds to help her bonus kids, as the Scandinavians say, learn English in fun everyday ways.
Wesley is originally from the only place in the US that matters; AKA Ohio. He left the buckeye state to teach English in Thailand and later Korea before he met his spouse, a Scandinavian. In moving to Sweden, he replaced tropical climates full of light with a slightly less tropical climate that leaves its citizens begging for light in the winter. Two years ago he also took on the challenge of teaching in the PYP along with continuing to teach English as an Additional Language. He can talk about language learning and education all day but, at home his cat, Noomi, rules the roost and she doesn’t appreciate educational talk outside of school hours. Thus he needed to start writing it down when she couldn’t see what he was doing.
Joanna, originally from Poland, has a more European view on English language learning as she is both an non-native English speaker and educated in English teaching at Cambridge. She started learning other languages at a young age and now is fluent in four languages, however, her love for travel could make that number increase at any time. Her teaching in an international school in Denmark means that she can be seen using all of her languages in any given day. If you are lucky, you might also see her love of art and particularly glitter being displayed in her classroom.
She has had many labels as a teacher (PYP classroom teachers, gifted and talented, EAL coordinator) but in the end her passion for helping students find the joy of learning (and for discovering the wonders of glitter ) shine through.
Anya is the native Scandinavian in the bunch, though she loudly proclaims that she is “a Scot at heart” which makes her, or at least her heart, almost an immigrant. She was educated in Scotland so we’ll award her at-one-time-you-were-an-immigrant-status and move on. She is clearly from Sweden as evidenced by her consuming love for the Eurovision song contest.
She has been a Swedish as an Additional Language teacher and is currently a PYP classroom teacher. If you surveyed her colleagues and asked them for the reason they adore her, you would always hear the same three words. Her. Computer. Skills. She graciously understands when all of her friends and colleagues need her tech-savvy help yet again. Thus this electronic blog written on instruments of technology is her outlet away from everyone else’s computer woes.