Your Name: Linda Byrne
Job Title: Early Years Coordinator at St Andrews 107 International School Bangkok
1. What is your nationality and background?
Originally I come from New Zealand and lived in London for 15 years where I met and married an Irishman, gaining an Irish passport. I’m actually in Thailand as an Irish citizen but really I’m a Kiwi!
2. What is your profession?
I have been a teacher for 23 years! While working in London I became a nursery teacher and gained a passion for teaching in Early Years. If you can teach this age you are well prepared for teaching any age group.
3. What are the key skills and responsibilities of this role?
Working with the youngest children I have to have energy, great communication skills and be very good at listening. I spend a lot of my time working in partnership with parents to help support them in understanding child development. Children are at the heart of everything I do and I am very lucky to work in a setting that is very Child Centred in its approach to learning.
4. How did you get involved in your profession?
I went to Teachers College to complete a 3 year teaching diploma and at the same time a Bachelor of Education at university. I discovered I loved being in the classroom and was inspired by children and some great mentor teachers.
5. How does your role enhance the well being or experience of children?
Every child is unique and each child will have their own interests. My role is to facilitate each child’s learning journey so that they have opportunities to play and explore, be active learners, creative and develop their own thinking skills, and also to ensure that I create a learning environment where children can feel safe and happy to be themselves.
6. What challenges do your face in this role?
Helping adults to understand that the best thing a young child needs is time; to allow each child to develop and learn at their own pace and not to compare them to their friend’s child.
7. What do you hope to achieve within your industry?
I have a passion for Early Years education and I feel that much of this philosophy can be transferred within a school so as a child continues their learning journey they have an opportunity to follow their own interests, direct their own learning and to become really happy people.
8. Who or what inspires you?
The children I work and play with every day. My colleagues who have great energy and a passion for teaching.
9. Only a Bangkok local would know…
Vegetarian or not, head to a Mr Lee’s café for the most popular dish of Chinese white carrot and beansprouts, simply delicious!