A day in the life of Laurence Myers

25th April 2014 at 01:00
In Kuala Lumpur, final preparations are being made for a trip to a local stream. But this sustainability coordinator fears that the burning of peat swamps in the area could affect pupils' breathing

It's 6.30am. My wife wakes me, then I wake our two daughters, aged 3 and 6. The morning routine is in full swing. Breakfast. Uniforms. Teeth. Kisses. Run to the school bus. Wave goodbye as my daughters smile back, their arms flailing.

The bus pulls away and it's time for me to head to the International School of Kuala Lumpur, where I am the sustainability and service learning coordinator. I drive to the Ampang campus, which houses the middle and high schools. Greetings are exchanged with my colleagues. Then I sit at my desk, open the laptop and write my weekly article for the parents' newsletter.

At 10am, I walk over to the middle school to support the team in charge of Grade 6 (11- and 12-year-olds) in their integrated unit called Impact. We ask ourselves: what kind of education for sustainable development standards can we address in this unit? What seems like a good assessment to support the learning?

Lunch is eaten on the go as I make my way through thick traffic to the Melawati elementary school campus. I'm working with a group of 20 Grade 4 students (aged 9-10) who are focusing on hunger, deforestation and the use of plastic bags. Today they are interviewing people to gather data on the issues, and creating action plans for positive local change.

At 1.30pm, I head over to the Grade 3 team. They are planning a trip to a nearby stream to test the water quality and I need to ensure that the logistics are all in order. Final confirmation means we can go ahead with the programme tomorrow, if the haze from the slashing and burning of peat swamps in the area doesn't stifle us.

Next I visit the administration department. This is our first trip to the stream and we need to ensure the safety of students. Everything is good to go, so I leave with a smile.

I pop into the preschool area for a quick chat to the teacher who is planting a new garden with the children. "Do you need more plants?" I ask. "Can you take pictures and share them with me?"

At 2.15pm, after another dash through cross-town traffic, I am back on the Ampang campus for a meeting with a student about his International Baccalaureate extended essay in economics. We talk about his guiding question and the data that might be necessary to support his research.

Then it's back to the office to work on our new education for sustainable development standards - I need to follow through on the goals of our sustainability leadership council. We have until the end of term to prepare the standards; they will be introduced when we start the new academic year in August.

At 5pm, I head home. I play with my children, sharing drawings and reading books, as well as making dinner. The bedtime routine is late but filled with giggles. Finally the girls sleep, and my wife and I catch up on the day. Then she goes to bed, leaving me time to deal with emails before I hit the hay at around 11pm.

Your day

Do you want to tell the world's teachers about your working day, the unique circumstances in which you teach or the brilliance of your class? If so, email richard.vaughan@tes.co.uk

We will give your school pound;100 if your story is published.


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