Education and sports invariably plays a huge role in Andrew Harris’s life, now on his second year of teaching English at Qatar Academy. Andrew completed his Bachelor of Arts with a double major in History and English from St. Thomas University in 2005. He was a varsity soccer player at St. Thomas and as part of his program he ran soccer clinics in local schools. This was his first experience in education and it eventually inspired him to enroll in a Bachelor of Secondary Education degree when he completed his Bachelor of Arts. He graduated with a Degree in Secondary Education from Memorial University in 2006 followed by a Masters in Educational Leadership in 2011 also from the same university.
Next was a teaching post in an IB World School in Colombia where he taught Theory of Knowledge and English. It was here where he first found out about QA. “At my previous school in Colombia a colleague had previously worked at a Qatar Foundation school. He always spoke very highly of Qatar Academy as a place to work and Qatar as an emerging country and wonderful place to live,” says Andrew.
The move from South America to the Middle East came next and it proved to be a pleasant experience for him. “From my very first interview I had a very good feeling about the school and faculty; I am really pleased with my decision to move to QA and Qatar. The entire school community is great, we are provided with fantastic resources and professional development opportunities inside and outside of school. The faculty has a very collaborative and approach to teaching and learning. I have really loved my first year at QA and everyone has been amazing, starting before I even set foot in Qatar I have been helped everyway and anyway possible”.
As a huge sports fan, Qatar’s ever-increasing sports facilities and attractions was also a welcome incentive for Andrew. He says: “I am totally sports mad and Qatar has so much to offer to a sports fanatic like me, there are so many different sports venues offering such a great variety of activities”.
The Week Without Walls program was another memorable first year experience for Andrew as it gave him the “opportunity to travel to Italy with the students”. He adds, “I was so impressed with the program and the opportunity QA students have to experience meaningful real world learning experiences across the globe”. This coming year, Andrew hopes to further advance his knowledge of the IB and develop more links between technology and daily classroom activities. “I am a huge fan of technology and the IT support and one-to-one mac program (QA has in place) have huge potential in our classrooms”.
“I think the IB is a wonderful student centered holistic curriculum,” Andrew sums up. “As I like to say we are the foundation of the Foundation and what is going on throughout Qatar Foundation is just incredible. It is an organization with huge potential and vision for the future”.