Gr. 6-12 Drama + IB Theatre Teacher with a special interest in popular (social issue) theatre and dramatherapy.
Directing is a long love of mine. I have produced a wide variety of productions with my students: from modern (Chekhov) and contemporary plays to murder mystery dinner theatre, children’s theatre, Japanese theatre, dance, a ‘short short play fest’ and more.
During the difficult era of Covid in the early lockdowns, my students and I produced one of the first online digital media and drama play fests in the world (this became trendy the next year of restrictions. You can see the festival and exploration of Covid life here: Sparks of Creativity (inspired by Covid-19 lockdown in Saudi Arabia). My father died during this time, and my article on this journey with my compassionate leader, parents and students was a feature article in TIE Online.
The curricular drama program that I have developed, after years of careful research and consideration, draws from my research of many international and state/provincial drama standards and programs. It further pulls from ideas and resources from colleagues at the Victoria School for the Arts in Edmonton, Canada (an IB school) and is aligned with and feeds into the IB Theatre Arts course popular in so many high schools today. The drama program scaffolds student learning from the basics of drama through the key strands of drama and theatre production to independent playmaking, increasingly building on analysis, physical theatre, study of practitioners, acting techniques, tech design and more over time.
All courses are highly practical and performance rich with continuous reflection by students in writing and discussion. Plays performed across the whole school foster a love of theatre and provide community activities for families that foster a love for theatre arts and culture, performance and storytelling.
I created and teach a Digital Arts 7 (Media / Design) elective with a focus on skills for content creation, communication, expression and entrepreneurism using different digital tools and techniques while adhering to a digitally informed and ethical approach in creating.
This is a very popular elective course, and it is a pleasure to apply to this course aspects of my professional experience in arts management and marketing.
Mindfulness/Self Compassion Teacher (I teach the 8-wk MSC course and workshops/short courses in MSC)
I was trained by some very special mindfulness teachers:
• Founders of MSC, Dr. Kristin Neff and Dr. Chris Germer of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, based at the University of San Diego
• Zen meditation teacher Hamid Ebadi of Maitri Retreats, based in Portugal.
• Other senior Mindful Self-Compassion trainers Dr. Steve Hickman, Michelle Becker, and Regula Saner.
I teach Mindful Self-Compassion methods to students, staff and parents in my school district and have worked with other mindfulness teachers in school to spread the practices across all grade levels from early years to high school.
I have delivered Mindful Self-Compassion training at the global Compassion Summit in Amman, Jordan to students from 20 schools of different countries.
I have long had a deep interest in being of service to others, and somehow managed to gain a very early start as a government employed youth worker, which fostered my love of counseling and mentoring others in care and in crisis.
I have worked and volunteered in multiple capacities as a counselor and counseling administrator:
- Youth and crisis worker – clients and group home and agency support
- University Student Help (peer support) volunteer and elected and employed agency administrator
- Career and job placement advisor, Federal Gov’t of Canada
- Suicide prevention and distress line volunteer as well as outreach deputy for Samaritans UK.
In my role as a drama teacher, occasionally something about how personal the work can get will touch students in a way that leads one to talk to me about the difficulties that are happening at the time. I don’t seek or invite this kind of disclosure, but I am ready for it and always prepared to help a students seek further support.
Thus, it is a natural extension of the work I am doing in my life and in education that has led me to currently undertake counseling and psychotherapy studies. I aim to continue being part of a counseling experience in schools and to ultimately become a clinical psychologist.
In my teaching capacity, in relation with our counseling department, I presently run and oversee all aspects of Peer Support, a one-to-one listening program at our school. Our students refer students in need on to counselors over matters of child protection or concern, but this program is a teen-friendly listening service that enables us to offer a tier one layer of support for students not ready yet to speak to adults about their concerns, or who need peers. Peer Support at ISG Jubail was put together by myself and a former colleague (cognitive coach). The program is run by senior HS students under supervision by me with the assistance of another teacher-leader.
For three years, I ran the Compassion Summit Leadership Team and Compassion Club, which taught my students how to develop sustainable compassionate action programs in our school. Peer Support was the project that fulfilled this criteria best.
Social Justice – Activism Using Media Responsibly (Podcasting)
I teach students to utilize technology to advocate for important issues (based on UN Sustainable Development Goals) and to spread compassion.
In 2020, I ran a popular 3-part institute at the global Compassion Summit on ‘Podcasting to Make a Point: Responsible Social Media Activism’ at the same event in Manama, Bahrain in March 2020. Again, one of the teams in a school in Lebanon has turned that into a sustained communication platform for teens in that school.
- Creative Writing
- Personal and Social Education (PSE/PSHE/Health/Citizenship)
- MYP Community & Service
- Compassionate Action and Leadership
- B.Ed. Secondary Drama and English (University of Alberta, Canada)
- PGDip. Creative Writing (Humber College, Ontario, Canada)
- M.Mgmt. Arts and Cultural Management (University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia).
- Post-graduate courses of a M.Sc. in IT/Education (SUNY Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA).
- Currently studying psychology and psychotherapy/counseling at Athabasca University, AB, Canada.
Songwriter. Traveller. Writer. Coffee lover.
I own a globally mobile boutique record label and publishing company, am a published poet and author, have been in an award-winning British film about English teachers living in the Middle East, and signed a major label distribution deal with one of the largest corporations in India (Bajaj International).
Intriguing fact: I have had one of my stories published in Portuguese in a women’s anthology in Brazil. I love to write.
I produced the world’s largest known community coffee festival (34 cafes and 1 trader’s hub) in South Manchester, UK in 2013 with a team of 22 volunteers including 13 professional marketers. Some members of the team have grown the festival into the Manchester Coffee Festival, which was always the vision. I made the decision to move back to the Middle East to teach.
The essence of my work:
I would like to think I am a compassionate creative: an artist, teacher and leader. I want to spend my working life engaged in whatever capacity as a creative, compassionate person with others who have a deep commitment to learning, growth and quality of life for all.
Previously lived and worked:
- Edmonton, Canada
- Taif, Saudi Arabia
- Doha, Qatar
- Manchester, UK
Presently live and work:
Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Proudly with the International School Group (ISG Jubail) whose mission ‘We inspire innovation and compassionate action’ personally speaks to me.
Previous WWW Leadership:
- Cambodia, 2012 – Service learning
- Taif and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 2016 – Culture
- Dubai, UAE, 2020 – Arts and Culture
- Internal WWW Jubail, 2022 – Mindful Self-Compassion
My other sites:
My other creative and counseling/coaching sites:
Something different…a career profile I took. I think it’s very close.
I like to work with high performing teams in flexible environments, and I compensate for boring tasks by doing them early, collaborating or speeding them up!