Originally from the UK, Harinder longed to work as an English teacher overseas, and she found the perfect opportunity through CfBT. She has been teaching in Brunei for nine years. Harinder’s passion for teaching manifests even beyond the classroom, as she has been involved in various projects aimed at helping her students unleash their potential in using the English language. Her driving force is to bring out the best in her students.
One of her most impactful projects was ‘Word of the Week,’ which had humble beginnings in her classroom in 2016. It is now part of the literacy program at her school. It is a creative way to engage her students with new vocabulary, encouraging them to use it in their daily lives.
Harinder’s proudest achievement came in the form of English Language Literacy Challenges, which was delivered before the pandemic. With the support of her Head of Department, she initiated this program, which was rolled out to year seven students. Fifty students enthusiastically signed up. There were six challenges: students had to create a dictionary, a newspaper report, a 1-minute video news update and a speech at the end of the year. This lasted for two to four weeks, with elimination rounds.
Harinder’s enthusiasm for empowering her students didn’t stop there.
Recently, she was also involved in a STEAM video competition with the theme ‘A Way to Save the Earth,’ shared through the Ministry of Education. She sought permission from her Head of Department and approached the principal to promote the competition to all students at the school. Her campaign included making an announcement during assembly and encouraging teachers to motivate students to join the competition through their registration classes. As a result, students started approaching her, and teachers helped submit the names of interested students to her. A total of 50 students joined, with several students forming groups. She extended her support by holding meetings and offering after-school assistance with the school’s and their parents’ permission.
“They were excited to break away from the school routine and meet in different settings to work on the project,” Harinder noted.
The students would visit the Eco Park and each other’s homes to engage in roleplays. Harinder saw this as an opportunity for the students to not only explore their creativity but also practice using the English language beyond the classroom in the making of their video.
The students would visit the Eco Park and each other’s homes to engage in roleplays. Harinder saw this as an opportunity for the students to not only explore their creativity but also practice using the English language beyond the classroom in the making of their video. When asked if there were any challenges, Harinder mentioned,
“One of the main challenges was maintaining motivation. Two students dropped out of the STEAM competition despite the support provided, but even acknowledging their courage to participate mattered to me; it showed that they tried.”
Harinder engaged her students in additional projects, including a speech competition organised by a school in Malaysia, where their school was the sole representative from Brunei. They also participated in an essay competition titled ‘Youth Creating a Peaceful Future,’ organised by a Japanese organisation with the aim of promoting UNESCO’s goal of Education for Sustainable Development 2030.
Throughout her extensive involvement in various events, Harinder recognised the significance of consistent follow-up with students and relevant stakeholders to moving the needle forward. She emphasized the importance of understanding the right communication channels and effective collaboration for the success of these projects. Her purpose remained constant: to bring out the best in her students.
Harinder added, “Sometimes, students are not aware of their own potential, and as a teacher, it is my job to help them see through that.”
She recognised that all these projects demanded hard work, but the rewards were equally significant. Harinder took pride in witnessing her students’ remarkable progress and hopes that they will become adults proficient in using English in their future professions. She aspires to continue working with CfBT, contributing to the company’s goals and initiatives while going from strength to strength.
To find out more how you can apply as an English teacher in Brunei, visit –> careers.cfbt.org