Suzie Vesper

  • I've been an educator for 25 years in New Zealand, London, and Saudi Arabia. In that time, I have been nominated for two teaching excellence awards.

  • I am fully registered as a New Zealand teacher (registration number 189099) and have been awarded QTS from the UK (reference number 2073240).

  • I've worked as a classroom teacher, an ESOL specialist, and an ICT facilitator supporting teachers to integrate ICT.

  • I've been a team leader in two different schools and now coordinate maths for all of the primary school at Nun Academy.

  • I've worked with the NZ curriculum, the UK curriculum, the IB PYP curriculum framework and the Cambridge International curriculum.

  • I am part of a teaching couple and have two children who will both be in middle school in the year 22/23. My husband, Corey, has taught early childhood and kindergarten. He also has a teaching portfolio.

Teaching Philosophy

I am passionate about lifting the performance of students and making learning 'hard fun'. I think big conceptional understandings should underpin all learning activities as we help students to become fully contributing, global citizens. Students need to see how their learning relates to the real world and that they can make a positive difference both within their own communities and globally. Having taught as a generalist in more than one education system internationally, I see that the same skills, attitudes, and understanding underpin all subjects. If we help to develop these attributes in our learners, they can be successful in all curriculum areas. Inquiry is an excellent vehicle for developing these skills and helps to encourage learners to be more in charge of their own learning. However, there are still times when a well-designed lesson led by the teacher leads to high-quality outcomes. As an experienced educator, I feel that there are many tools in my teacher toolbox and I can select from them to best suit the learning situation at hand.

I see quality feedback to students as the biggest driver to lift student achievement. I use student data alongside my own observations to help tailor the learning to suit the needs of the students. Teacher feedback needs to be clear and targeted and should be done with the students present wherever possible. Self and peer assessment are also important to make ensure students are actively involved in the learning process and to encourage reflection and goal setting.

With my background as an ICT facilitator, I am passionate about enhancing learning using appropriate technology tools where appropriate. For instance, writing recorded in a digital form is far easier to reorganise, extend and edit so students should be given opportunities to write on a device as well as in their books. During virtual learning; I was able to use virtual manipulatives for mathematics and we conducted electrical circuit experiments using virtual simulations. Teaching virtually due to the COVID epidemic for the last year and a half has required resilience, a strong work ethic, and creativity to keep students engaged and actively learning. My knowledge of how to successfully integrate ICT into teaching and learning has been extremely useful. I feel that my students have continued to develop as learners over this time and that I have been able to use a variety of tools in order to motivate my students and to provide them with high-quality feedback.

Different subjects require their own specific approaches. In maths, I believe in using a CPA approach (concrete, pictorial, abstract) to develop understanding of maths concepts, and a mastery approach so that all students have access to the same learning opportunities. Many students who end up working on lower level objectives never have the opportunity to close the learning gap. There are still ways to support struggling learners and extend those that grasp concepts quickly without teaching different content. In literacy, children need a clear understanding of the mechanics of the English language as well as opportunities to be creative. Reading a shared class book is an important part of my classroom programme. Whatever the subject, making the learning engaging and relevant ensures that students are motivated to learn.

I have always been 'internationally minded' and interested in exploring the world at large. I loved my time living and working in London and our family has adjusted well to living in a different culture here in Saudi Arabia. My husband and I are now looking forward to our next chapter within the international teaching community.

Contact email: Contact phone number: +966 54 2505626