New Staff Experiences August 2015
Henry Cammell, Year Two Class Teacher
I am originally from sunny Cornwall in England and have also lived in Manchester, Swindon and Canterbury where I did my undergraduate, masters and teaching qualifications. Since qualifying I spent two years working in Year 3 at an international school in Cairo, Egypt and have also worked for an International School in Beijing as a Year 3 teaching assistant.
Japan has always been a fascination of mine; since I was a teenager I have been interested in Japanese cinema and culture. Before joining St Michael’s I had never visited Japan but upon seeing the position advertised, I started researching the school, Kobe and Japan fervently. Since coming here I am trying to explore as much of the local area as possible and have also been trying to pick up some Japanese. Eating in the vast aray of restaurants Kobe has to offer is a guilty pleasure of mine although I try to not eat in the same place more than once!
Since joining St. Michael’s I have loved the community spirit which the school has. The staff have been fantastic in helping me settle in and welcoming me to the city and I am frequently bumping into friendly parents and children when walking around Kobe. The small nature of St Michael’s is something which really appeals to me as this is the type of school which I went to as well as trained at in England. My last schools were nearly ten times the size of St. Michael’s so coming here has been a welcome change!
Lauren Brownen, Early Years Class Teacher
I am from Dublin, Ireland where I did my teacher training with Trinity College. After one year working in a special needs pre-school I moved to South Korea to teach in an international school. There I taught Year 2 as well as EAL classes. I also ran the library and acted as the IPC 'Leader for Learning'. After two years in South Korea I relocated to Kazakhstan and taught Reception for 2 years in an independent British school.
I have always been interested in Japan and had visited Tokyo for New Year during my time in South Korea. I love the mix of tradition and modernity, the way nature and city life come together. I love the food and the fashion too, and always hoped I would be able to return some day to live and work in Japan. When I saw that St. Michael’s was looking for a teacher I began researching Kobe straight away and was impressed by the multicultural aspect of the city, and its location near mountains and sea.
I was welcomed to St. Michael’s with a warm reception, which has continued throughout my time here. It really is a warm, family school and I feel lucky to call so many of my co-workers friends. They have introduced me to many of the wonderful places in Kobe, including some fantastic restaurants! I love Japanese food and there’s so much to choose from - sashimi and ramen are two favourites. I’ve been set up with a great Japanese teacher and I’m already picking up some of the basics. It’s great to see that so many of the staff speak the local language.
I am looking forward to visiting Kyoto with friends this year, and I hope to visit Sapporo and Okinawa too later on in the year. I enjoy visiting Dublin too every year, seeing my family, spending time with them and catching up on everything I missed during the year. I’ve spent many Christmases abroad but there’s nothing quite like an Irish Christmas with it’s home cooked food, thoughtful presents and age old traditions!
I love being able to call two places home, Kobe and Dublin, and I’m excited about discovering even more about both this year.