Teaching On a High Note


Ms. Dalila Istrate joined the British School of Bucharest in January 2005 as a Teaching Assistant. She brought with her a wealth of talent and experience gained working with children, both within and outside Romania. Dalila is a qualified Art Teacher and has also completed three international courses as part of her continuous professional development during her 16 years as a Teaching Assistant.

Why did you go into teaching?

After I lived in Argentina for several years and worked with children with poor backgrounds, I realised that I have the skills and knowledge to prepare them for a better world. Teaching is a way of offering a solid learning experience to each pupil and this was one of the reasons that inspired me.

What made you join BSB?

I was very thrilled to find out that BSB was offering me a job as a class TA in January 2005. It was a huge opportunity to develop my professional skills and a motivating factor was teaching the international young children to become role models and good citizens for the rest of their lives.

How do you combine your responsibilities as an EYFS Music Teacher and those of Primary Music TA?

I will start with a Maria Montessori’s metaphor ‘The Child, His Majesty’. From this point, I will respond to this question.

Every year group demands specific necessities. Being an EYFS Music Teacher is a challenge for me to make them understand and embrace Music at such an early stage of their lives.

Being a Primary Music TA is a very good opportunity for me to support the Music Teacher to have high-quality lessons. Working beside them taught me different teaching strategies that I can apply in my Music TA role but also in my position as an EYFS Music Teacher.

What's the role of Music in the EYFS curriculum?

For this young year group, PLAYING is the best way of learning and to discover the surrounding world. Listening, playing an instrument and singing Music in a fun way is one of the best learning techniques for children.

How do you inspire and motivate pupils to learn how to play an instrument?

The children are keen and open to learning new things. Before learning how to play an instrument, it is very important to listen to all kinds of sounds from nature. Motivating a pupil to discover an instrument by themselves is the beginning of the learning process.

As an EYFS Music Teacher, I motivate the children by stirring their curiosity and sensory skills and introducing them to the world of sounds. One of my teaching strategies is using the ‘I am the Music Man’ game, which not only makes them roleplay and develop listening skills but also practise playing an instrument.

How do you assist a pupil who struggles with singing in tune?

In my Music lessons, all the pupils have the chance to show their skills and enthusiasm. One of the proper teaching techniques for singing in tune is using their own bodies by jumping high and crouching low to embody the sound. It’s a very useful technique that gives them the chance to become more confident in coordinating their moves and singing in tune.

What do you think are the most significant challenges that pupils are facing today?

One of the significant challenges for pupils today is to face the reality of COVID-19, that changes come quickly and to learn the pace of their new lives.

What is the most outstanding achievement you've had so far?

I love my job a lot and it is fundamental for me to offer all pupils my best. One of the examples can be when the students come to me and ask for more Music lessons.

If you would have to summarise BSB in a song, what would that be?

I will describe it as ‘We are the World’ sung by Michael Jackson.

If you weren't an EYFS Music Teacher and Primary Music TA, what would your dream job be?

In my free time, I love hiking. I have hiked different mountain ranges in several countries. So, my dream job would be exploring them more. As a mountain explorer you can find out more about the wonderful world.

And finally: tell us something unexpected about yourself.

I am quite a good Ping-Pong and Badminton player and I received a title as a Champion in Secondary School by competing with different school teams from Romania.

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