This is the last “new teacher interview/KIS SPOTLIGHT” I’ll be doing in this series, but luckily this interview is a great one featuring the magnificent Ms. Marisa! This interview was the most detailed interview yet, so you might want to take a seat. Here’s how the interview went:
1. Where are you from? / 2. What did you do before becoming a teacher here at KIS?
That’s actually a pretty hard question… My parents are from Houston, (Texas) but they joined foreign services and acted as US diplomats. I was born in France but was a US citizen, which was a little unfortunate because it would’ve been really cool to be a French citizen. So I grew up in France until I was 3, then I moved to Virginia but later on my sister, who was 10 years older than me, had to go to Austria and we went with her. After that I moved back to Virginia, then onto Paris for middle school. A little while after that I had to go back to Washington DC for high school, where I studied at an American public school. Subsequently, I moved to Texas for college where I majored in history. I was also a 2-year music major and did opera and theatre for a while, but then I realized it was math in disguise so I switched to history. I was a history teacher for 5 years and earned my masters degree later on in San Antonio, which later led to me moving back to Houston and teaching history there as well. Then one day a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to have a job in Bangkok at an international school (because she had been an art teacher at another school for the past 2 years and thought it would be nice). So I moved to Bangkok and taught for 2 years. Then one day another one of my friends introduced me to Ms. Kyla, who convinced me that KIS was an amazing place and that there would be lots of new spots open for teachers the next year. This was actually a time when I thought about leaving Thailand, even though I did enjoy working here, but the spot at KIS for an English teacher opened up, and I decided to stay in Bangkok.
3. What are your hobbies/what do you like to do for fun?
I LOVE baking (which is so sad because I have a tiny toaster oven). My sister and I have this tradition for Christmas where we make these ginormous gingerbread houses using architectural books for actual houses and buildings for the gingerbread houses. This morning the teachers had a staff breakfast so I made muffins with my tiny toaster oven. I also love singing and theater and stuff like that. I’m actually part of a choir here in Bangkok (I sing soprano (the high one)). I also made Mr. Chris allow me to help with the drama club, which is pretty cool and interesting to me. I also love traveling and exploring, moving a lot is pretty comfortable for me, as you could probably tell. I also really love animals; I have a cat, Kevin, who I miss so much because he’s living with my friend in the US. My sister also has a dog named Sophie, so I miss having pets around the house. I also love reading; I have access to the Austin Public Library, even though I live in Thailand, and I am especially interested in politics.
4. Why did you come/choose KIS?
As I mentioned before, Ms. Kyla really opened my eyes and it became clear to me that KIS was a worthwhile place that peaked my interest. It seemed like a place where professionally I would be supported and I could grow.
5. What have you enjoyed most about working here?
I love that there are turtles, I literally freaked out during the tour around school. I think it’s brilliant that I haven’t found any students who haven’t been excited about returning to school, that’s something I’ve noticed over the past 3 weeks. I like that the school is located near downtown because I get to live in Asoke now. I also love that all the teachers are from different places; like two teachers are from the US, one is from Portugal, another from Mexico and other places. I like this because I’m used to teaching with Americans and Canadians.
6. What are/were your first impression(s)?
I liked that this place was very international and I love spicy food, so some of the food they serve here is nice too. I thought it was funny that the entrance was a parking lot and that the PYP building looks like Hogwarts; seriously, it looks like a castle. Also the fact that there’s a nice soccer field and that I’m in a certain part of the building where the field is viewable is great because it’s just refreshing to be able to look out to something like that.
7. What do you most look forward to?
I guess you could say I’m excited about teaching MYP because this is new to me, as I’ve always taught smaller kids. I’m really excited to see where each of my students end up at the end of the year, as well as excited to see where I end up at the end of the year. I’m also excited to help out with the drama programme because I used to work in theatre.