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We meet Jackie Daire, multitasking principal of Ace of Brussels international school
I always say that, as teachers, our primary role is not only to educate children but to prepare them for their role as an adult in the workplace. Our job is to give our students the qualifications and the tools to be able to choose what they want to do with their lives. Education is a hugely important part of this process but so is learning the soft skills needed for working as part of a team. We actively teach how to negotiate, how to handle challenging situations, how to manage stress, how to see failure as a positive experience.
There is no such thing as a typical working day. For example, today I started with a coffee before greeting everyone at the school gate. I then had to show a delivery driver how to reverse down our drive, I had a phone conversation with a parent, I collected slugs with the children, I taught poetry with our seniors, I interviewed a potential new teacher and helped my curriculum coordinator arrange some training courses. That was all before morning break!
Schools carry a huge amount of data and I’m balancing how to ensure the school is GDPR-compliant with enabling the staff to have the information they need to do their job. Our school is a family. Truly. I’m here to protect and nurture everyone: students, families and staff. We have small classes so I know all my children and their teachers and parents very well. I instil this sense of family into everyone and, as a family should, we all support each other.
I live in Brussels and adore the place for its diversity. I’ve lived all over the world and this is one of the most fun places to be. I love that I have access to so many activities. I’m a huge fan of live concerts, both rock and classical, and being based in Brussels means I can go and listen to all my favourite music, wherever it is. I’ve lived in Belgium a while now so I think I know Wallonia quite well but I’m always discovering new gems. I’m a nomad; I get itchy feet and have to travel but I love to come back to Brussels.