Alumna Jodie Ramskill studied at QEGS from 2005 to 2007 and after pursing her passion for geography is now teaching at a British International School on Jeju Island, nicknamed the Hawaii of South Korea.
Can you tell us about your career to date and how you came to be a teacher in South Korea?
After finishing at QEGS I stayed local to Horncastle and studied at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln where I completed a BA in Geography and Education Studies. I then moved to Nottingham where I studied a PGCE in Geography at the University of Nottingham. My first teaching role was in Derbyshire where I stayed for four years. As a geographer I had always wanted to travel and explore new countries so decided that international teaching could be a way to continue my passion of teaching and travelling together.
In June 2015 I found myself in Myanmar, formally known as Burma, teaching at a British International School. It is known as the Golden Land and is littered with many sparkling golden pagodas, temples and buddhas. Myanmar is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt countries I have ever been to and I was fortunate enough to call it home for four wonderful years.
I am now living on Jeju Island in South Korea. The island is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a geographer’s dream with the dormant Mount Halla (which we can see from our home), lava tubes by the ocean, countless oreums (small defunct volcanos), orange groves and tea plantations. I am housemistress of a boarding house and teach secondary Geography at North London Collegiate International School.
Did you always want to be a teacher?
Up until GCSE I always wanted to be an accountant; however, this changed after completing two weeks’ work experience at an accountancy firm! I then started studying for my A-levels at QEGS and really enjoyed Geography and History. I eventually enrolled on the BA Hons course to study Geography and Education Studies.
Who was the person who inspired you during your time at QEGS?
Mrs Payne inspired me as a geographer through her own passion for the subject and the endless photographs from her travels which she shared with us on an old school overhead projector!
What subjects or activities helped prepare you for your current role?
Besides Geography, I have also taught History at KS3 level, so GCSE and A-Level History have come in handy at times. Along with English – there is a lot of report writing, emailing parents and colleagues and planning resources for teaching etc.
Has growing up in Lincolnshire influenced your work?
Growing up in Horncastle meant that I spent a lot of my childhood in the great outdoors and at the coast which is one of the reasons I love teaching Geography.
What advice would you give to current students at QEGS who might want to follow in your footsteps?
When I was younger I use to wish the time away; I couldn’t wait to be old enough to learn to drive, to leave home, to study at university, to make exciting choices. Time really does fly, so make the most of your youth when you have very few worries and responsibilities. Secondly, take risks - if it doesn’t work out, there will always be another path you can follow. Moving to Myanmar, a country closed off to the outside world for years, a country where the military still has a large influence, was a risk, but a risk worth taking.