Meet Mrs. Jade Harrold. She has taught at CISB since its founding 16 years ago. Mrs. Harrold is a proud Canadian and a pillar of the CISB community, having worn many hats during her Bobcat tenure. She currently teaches Grade 9 and 10 English Language and Literature and is the Grade 10 Level Lead.

As a teacher, she is caring, knowledgeable, and passionate. “I truly believe that showing students you care by building a good relationship with them is necessary for learning success, while also making teaching enjoyable and fulfilling,” she said, adding that once students trust teachers have their best interests at heart, their learning flourishes more quickly. Once that bond is established, Mrs. Harrold said “I can use my passion and knowledge to make the classroom a place students can learn, achieve their goals, and have fun,” so that they are better equipped to venture outside their comfort zones and broaden their knowledge and skills through risk taking, inquiry, balance and other International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner Profile traits.

When asked how she feels CISB has evolved and thrived over the years, Mrs. Harrold recalled the leaps and bounds our Bobcats have made: “The most obvious change is the size of the school population. When we began, there was one class at every grade level from nursery to grade 10, and we didn’t have grade 11 or 12. Now, we have multiple classes at every grade level.”

Mrs. Harrold saw first-hand the implementation and positive effects of a number of processes that helped our Bobcat community grow. CISB had yet to be certified as an International Baccalaureate school upon opening, for instance, but Mrs. Harrold recalled how “that process began in 2009 with the Diploma Programme and was followed a few years later by the Primary Years Programme and the Middle Years Programme.” This is but one of the many ways “CISB has changed drastically over the years” in her view.

Did you know Mrs. Harrold enjoys musical theatre? Besides being one of CISB’s most experienced and talented educators, Mrs. Harrold is passionate enough about musical theatre to dedicate hours to this popular ASA when the school bells ring and her daily teaching duties are done. “There is something very satisfying about a story being told through song with strong emotion,” she said about the rewards of working with theatre students.

When asked about her most exciting CISB memory, Mrs. Harrold recalled how her English students reached out to authors they admired, and what it was like to receive a response. “One year, we Tweeted a question to author S.E. Hinton, who responded the same day. We were thrilled!” Aside from being personal milestones for the students, forging such connections also had practical benefits. As Mrs. Harrold puts it: “When we engage with the outside community, it brings the real world into the classroom and shows that our learning isn’t done in isolation.” These are precisely the types of experiences Mrs. Harrold’s expertise and innovations bring to students at CISB!

No one has ever said educating the next generation of leaders was easy! We asked:
What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your teaching life thus far? Mrs. Harrold spoke about the range of challenges she had faced: “Challenges can be relative in the sense that when I started teaching, the challenge was to make lessons engaging and inquiry-driven. When that challenge was overcome, it was replaced with balancing work with family life, which I imagine is a challenge many have! Now, in the context of Covid, my challenge has come somewhat full circle in attempting to engage with a medium and make learning fun, engaging, and inquiry-driven online.” CISB appreciates the support and efforts Mrs. Harrold and teachers like her go through to be the best possible versions of themselves!

When asked about the most important or interesting trend Mrs. Harrold sees in young learners today, she said: “Although not new itself, critical thinking has become a part of daily life for young learners, which is fantastic because this skill will help them in every aspect of their life for years to come. We see students use different forms of media to view and learn from becoming much more varied, and in turn, the products that students create and share to demonstrate their learning becomes more varied. The output of an analytical essay, while an important way of demonstrating learning, is not the only way, just like a book is not the only type of source to learn from. Yet, despite changes to the process and the product of student learning, critical thinking through inquiry remains at the heart.”

Lastly, we wanted to know what types of teacher training/pedagogical theory/skills she hopes to learn next to hone her craft further. Mrs. Harrold said, “The thing about being a teacher is that you are never done learning. So, I am interested in combining subjects into interdisciplinary units (IDUs) that are engaging and authentic. In October, many of our teachers took part in IDU training, and later this year, CISB will be having its first IDU Week.”
She looks forward to learning from IDU Week and using it as a springboard to further integrate concepts, topics, and skills within the classroom!

Ms. Harrold is an inspiration to many teachers at CISB. She promotes the success of her students and cares deeply about their journeys. Mrs. Jade Harrold has lived and worked under the motto Together Is Better. We are honoured to have had Mrs. Harrold on staff for more than 15 years.

We look forward to continually developing learners into passionate leaders!