I am currently an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) practitioner in Group 1 Languages, IB, Middle Years Programme (MYP) for Language Arts and IB DP (Diploma) Theory of Knowledge (TOK). I have extensive experience working in international schools in North America, South East Asia, and Europe, where I have been head of faculty in both English and Humanities. My teaching experience in South East Asia allowed me to be part of the senior leadership team responsible for developing the accreditation report for the International School Dhaka by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NESAC). In addition, I am a workshop leader for the IBDP and an examiner for IB Language A. To support my research interest in teaching and leadership, I have completed a year-long team fellowship programme at the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education. Most recently, I have presented at the IBO Global Conference in San Diego on purposeful assessment linked to well-being in middle schools post-COVID-19. I also provide free teacher training online and in-person to the MBA faculty at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh. My other pursuits are literature and music based, as I am a member of the Dr Johnson Reading Circle for my love of eighteenth-century texts, and I am a fan of The Beatles.
I first heard about BELMAS through my supervisor in my EdD program. I decided to become a member and attend my first BELMAS conference in 2022 because I saw this as an opportunity to be part of a dynamic group of practitioners from whom I would learn how to develop my own research interests and get to know an academic community that I previously had little experience of. I fully realise that I am new to academia and that my experience is starting to be curated, but to be part of the “wider field of Educational Leadership, Management and Administration” (BELMAS), I see being a council member as an essential entry point into a more significant opportunity to work with other members collaboratively. Collaborative practices are important, and having people on board who are from different backgrounds and experiences will add more dimension to critical topics. One of the essential skills I would bring is my bi-cultural background and experience in teaching in an organisation such as the International Baccalaureate, where being international-minded and a life-long learner is something I firmly believe in. I add to that belief the lived experience of being born and partially raised in a developing country where education is still a privilege for many. To better understand this, I have developed training partnerships with universities in Bangladesh in recent years, which have made me appreciate just how vital local understanding of culture is. Other skills that I can bring to being a council member include but are not limited to: Thinking strategically in terms of keeping the focus on the best interests of the BELMAS community and by the same token, not being afraid to speak out on any points that I may disagree or feel that revision is needed. Time management: is another area I can add as part of my skill, as I respect the need for deadlines and commitments. Honesty: is something that I know I can apply positively, and if I am realistic, this is an area where it is critical to intersect with authenticity. There may be times when I do not have the answers, but I will admit to this rather than provide a response or solution that is not accurate. Lastly, being a member of the BELMAS council is a human experience. As such, it is necessary to balance work and personal commitments by ensuring that priority for others’ well-being is acknowledged. The old saying that ‘patience is a virtue’ is something that I have developed better post-pandemic. Being a council member requires patience and the understanding that things may not always go as planned. To summarise – one needs vision and a willingness to revise regularly what being a council member is about so that one is authentic in their position to the best of their ability; I believe I can do this and also bring a sense of humour, which is so crucial in being a member in any part of an organisation.