Have you met Alex Hopgood? He and his fellow colleagues are the glue that hold everything together, without which our school would be a very different place.
What is your role at IIL?
I am a teaching assistant in the English primary section, but it is so much more than that!
Sometimes I need to jump in and replace a teacher. I also collect children from the buses, carry out morning and lunchtime break duties, help both teachers and students with their computing/technical issues and mentor or council the children. Over the years, I have worked with every year group, gone on many school field trips and assisted at football tournaments.
Outside of my role, I have also raised money for various charities by organising bake sales with the children and joining the ‘Dons and Divas’ IIL dragon boat team paddling for cancer. Every year I ask parents and children to donate any unwanted cuddly toys/teddy bears for the ‘L’Opération Peluches’ which sends teddy bears to children’s hospitals in Geneva and surrounding areas.
What made you choose this career path?
I actually studied Video Game Design at university. Whilst I didn’t pursue a job in that industry, I utilise the skills I learnt, transferring them into the classroom on a daily basis. This could be using my art and design skills, my computing knowledge, teamwork and adaptability, out of the box thinking, problem solving and reasoning or just using my intuition and initiative. I didn’t plan on working in a school at first, however I quickly realised I love working with children and have been with IIL for 9 years.
What do you enjoy most?
In school, I enjoy working with my colleagues and the interaction with children of all ages. As someone with dyslexic traits, I especially like helping children who struggle with learning. I see myself in them and have the patience and empathy needed to pass on techniques and strategies I was taught by my learning support team at school. I do everything with a smile on my face and it’s always a great feeling to get that smile and joy reflected back from the children each and every day.
Outside of school, I play for the Geneva Dragons adult baseball team, whilst also umpiring the children’s matches. Music is a passion and I love heavy metal. I also have a strong love for cooking good food. Most of all, I like to have fun!