WeAreWellington丨Meet our Educators

In this Teachers in Profile Series, we speak to our educators to learn more about why they chose teaching as their vocation, about what plans they have for the future and why Wellington College was their school of choice. In this article from the series we discuss aspects of teaching and learning with Ms Dixon from our Nest and Ms Meikle from our Junior School.

WeAreWellington丨Meet our Educators

Rashmi Dixon

Reception Teacher

Q

Why did you decide to come to Tianjin for the next step in your career? 

Rashmi:I decided to come to Tianjin, because I wanted to be a part of the Wellington College family. Since I was in China Taiwan for a decade, culturally also Tianjin seemed to be a seamless transition for me and my young daughters. I’m excited about what the future will bring!

Q

What made you passionate about teaching? 

Rashmi:Landing into the field of teaching a decade ago was a leap of faith but staying in it was simply because I love spending time with students. I love facilitating and watching the process of learning. As I spent more time in the classroom, I found myself thinking of more and more creative ways of teaching. It’s the joy of witnessing the ‘Aha!’ moment in my classroom over and over again that has built my passion for teaching.

WeAreWellington丨Meet our Educators

Q

What was it that interested you in Early Years Education?

Rashmi:Even in my early years of teaching, the desire to professionally develop myself was strong. I remember reading an article about the importance of early childhood education and how it affects the future of the world. I read some startling statistics about how children who received a well-rounded education in their early years, naturally grew up to be more discerning individuals resulting in a rise in income levels and a fall in crime rate. The benefits of a good early childhood education are numerous, but it is this article that started it all for me.

WeAreWellington丨Meet our Educators

Q

What has been your greatest achievement so far as a teacher?

Rashmi:The student population of each class at a private high school that I was teaching in was 40. At the time, we were only two English teachers who taught all classes between Year 7 and Year 12. This made marking and keeping track of student work extremely difficult. 

It was then I played around with Google Classroom and researched how it could benefit the students and us teachers. I initially started by migrating all student work, materials and assignments to Google Classroom only for Year 7. I noticed that it was much easier to stay on track, mark work and meet deadlines. The students also took active interest in familiarizing themselves with this new technology that would soon become an inextricable part of their learning. Students were able to express themselves in ways they had never done before through videos and pictures. It was an exciting time!

I presented this idea to the upper management and fortunately, they were on-board with it. Soon, Google Classroom was implemented school-wide where it continues to be used effectively.

Q

As a reception class teacher, what will be your major priorities this year for teaching and learning?

Rashmi:I would prioritise focusing on building a strong rapport with my students and colleagues this year. Additionally, I would like to make family engagement a top priority because to form a strong learning community, student learning must be supported at home too. Finally, making learning enjoyable and fun is another vital aspect I will concentrate on.

WeAreWellington丨Meet our Educators

Q

What advice would you give to parents with young children to help with their education?

Rashmi:I would encourage parents of young children to communicate with teachers to stay informed about their child’s progress and how best they can aide it. Parents should extend learning by reinforcing routines established at school and by asking more open-ended questions to their child about their learning.

WeAreWellington丨Meet our Educators

Q

What are your other interests apart from teaching?

Rashmi:In my free time I enjoy reading a good thriller, painting, spending time in nature and playing with my twin daughters. 

WeAreWellington丨Meet our Educators

Melissa Meikle

Year 4 Teacher

Q

You have worked in some of the top Prep schools in the UK. Why did you decide to come to China as the next step in your career?

Melissa:After teaching many years in the UK, I took the decision to continue my teaching journey in this beautiful and culturally rich country, to share and learn more about the world that our children are growing up in. As a parent and teacher, it is important to me that my daughters grow up to be global citizens and appreciate the many different cultures and customs around the world. Working in an International school like Wellington, also provides us a great opportunity to share our culture and customs with the children they go to school with, and the children that I teach.  

Q

What made you passionate about teaching in the Junior school and Year 4?

Melissa:I have always taught in the Junior School (years 3-5) and have relished being involved in the foundations of a child’s learning journey. I get excited by the idea that I have such an integral role in creating the base which future years and learning can build on. Teaching the younger children is such a rewarding career as I still get so excited when I see a child have a ‘light bulb moment’, with a wide smile spreading across their face, when they understand something for the first time. My job is to give the children the tools, skills and the confidence to have a ‘go’ at completing a piece of work that they might feel is too daunting or difficult, and I love it!

WeAreWellington丨Meet our Educators

Q

What has been your greatest achievement so far as a teacher?

Melissa:I am always interested and thrilled to hear how my past pupils have progressed and achieved in their school and life careers. Nothing pleases me more to know that I have been a part of their journey and am always pleased to hear how they have developed into wonderful, fully rounded people with future achievements and success that can take their place proudly on the world’s stage.

WeAreWellington丨Meet our Educators

As a teacher with many years’ experience, I enjoy seeing my students grow from Point A to Point Z. Seeing those children who either thought they couldn’t do well but did; those who doubted themselves but gained more confidence. Seeing the smiles on their faces when they have done well, learned something new, enjoyed the lesson, or just appreciated my advice or guidance – this is what teaching is all about!

Q

As a Year 4 class teacher, what will be your major priorities this year for teaching and learning?

Melissa:This year, my major priorities will be to inspire, engage and enrich the lives of each child that I have the privilege of teaching. I want to create a classroom of curious learners who inquire and ask questions about the world around them. My desire is that the children in my class arrive at school with a smile on their face and a spring in their step every morning, excited by the lessons and the new learning opportunities that the day will bring.  

WeAreWellington丨Meet our Educators

Q

What advice would you give to parents with young children to help with their education?

Melissa:I would ask that parents continue to encourage and support their children at home and let them know that it is alright to make mistakes – they will only learn from them. Reading every day is so important to help with fluency and recognition of the English language. Also, asking your children what they have learnt, done or achieved during the day is so necessary. Being given the opportunity to recall their lessons allows them another chance to discuss any vocabulary or processes they have learnt throughout the day, which will aid consolidation.  

WeAreWellington丨Meet our Educators

Q

What are your other hobbies outside of teaching?

Melissa:In my free time, I enjoy spending good quality time with my family. You might often see us all together splashing around in a swimming pool or running around on a sports field. I am also keen to impart my love of anything drama or musical theatre on my girls, so I always endeavour to take them to stage musical productions and concerts. Travel is an absolute must in my efforts to create my girls into ‘global citizens’. We have enjoyed many different places around the world – our huge souvenir fridge magnet collection of the places we have visited is testament to this part of our lives. We look forward to adding many new and exciting places to our collection!