Olivia Babb

Role: Prep Head of Science

School: Denla British School

Country: Thailand

Olivia recently joined Denla British School in 2018 as Prep Head of Science. Prior to this, Olivia started her teaching career through Teach First where she completed her Leadership Development Programme in Birmingham. Over the past five years Olivia has taught in multiple schools, completed a TEFL course and travelled to Thailand to teach English as a foreign language. Olivia has always dreamed about teaching Science abroad especially in a country she has grown to love.

Learn more about Olivia’s experiences below.

What were you doing before you joined Denla British School?

I began working at my first school after joining Teach First in 2013, fresh out of university. It was a very diverse, city school in Birmingham with a high proportion of disadvantaged pupils – a tough start to my teaching career! I was lucky to learn and work alongside some inspirational colleagues while being exposed to some amazing opportunities such as being a form tutor, Head of House, and running the boys’ basketball team.

It was really emotional leaving my Teach First school. My biggest privilege was witnessing my school, staff and students go through a colossal state of change, never give up hope, and support each other through the challenges of the school’s transformation. This experience showed me that it doesn’t matter where your starting point is, everyone is capable of change and progress, especially when guiding each other and working together.

Before I knew it, I was en route to Thailand, preparing to teach English as a foreign language in schools in and around Krasang, Buri Ram. Again, I had voluntarily chosen to throw myself in at the deep end, having never been to Thailand, never travelled alone, and never taught English as a foreign language. It was during my TEFL experience that the thought of working abroad became highly appealing.

I headed home after travelling for the remaining two months before embarking on my next adventure in a multi-cultural school in Greater London. Again, I was fortunate to benefit from some fantastic CPD opportunities and embraced further pastoral experience as Deputy Head of Year.

Two years went by and I couldn’t stop thinking about Thailand and my dream of working abroad. So, one day in a cold, dark January, I sat down on my computer and started applying for international teaching jobs.

What is your current role?

I am Prep Head of Science at DBS and am thoroughly enjoying passing on my love of Science to the students. The students were really excited to begin learning Science as a specialist subject and the parents show great support. The students at DBS are lucky enough to begin learning specialist subjects from Year 5 onwards and are able to work in a lab environment from the first day! The resources at DBS are astounding and I am lucky enough to have my own labs that I can contribute to the design of. This includes my most recent project of designing the wall display for the Science Department.

The Science team I work with are incredibly supportive of my ideas and vision for the Department. I feel lucky to be able to play a part in the foundations of what I hope will be a great specialist department at DBS and a place for students to grow to love and enjoy Science!

How have you found working at Denla British School?

Teaching the students here has been a breath of fresh air. They are talented young people, eager to learn, thankful for the opportunity they have. They come through my lab doors every day with a huge smile, abundance of enthusiasm, character and politeness!

Each day, I wake up, enjoy teaching and go home to relax in whatever way I wish. Whether it be using the gym, doing some yoga or Muay Thai, popping down the road for a quick shop or bite to eat, heading into the markets or city centre, visiting another Sky Bar, discovering another cool breakfast location, or going away for the weekend! It is very easy to get around and the best bit is being able to enjoy my own time away from work without a never-ending list of jobs to do.

There is so much to explore in Thailand, and for once, the time to enjoy it!

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