Category Archives: Interviews

SKIDO Kangaroo

Today’s Meeting: a Teacher Like you

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Meet the teacherTeachers

Teacher from the heart, Fran loves his profession. He works in a bilingual public school in South Spain. Not happy with that he also spends his holidays teaching in developing countries. This multifaceted teacher is a game lover, traveller and an amateur actor.

1. Who are you?

My name is Francisco Contreras, but everybody calls me “Fran”. I was born 30 years ago in a small town of Spain, in my 15 I moved to the capital. I’m a learning lover. When I finished my studies as a teacher in 2007, I though I wanted keep learning. I have a Bachelor of Media and Communications and I also started to study History and Geography.

2. What do you do?

I am primary school teacher. In 2007 I passed the public examination to become teacher in public schools in Spain, since then I teach to kids from 1st to 7th grade. Currently, I live in Seville, if you ask one of the most beautiful of Spain.

Every summer, I spend my holidays teaching children in developing countries. I have been in Colombia and Kenya and I’m sure I will repeat, it is a great experience!

3. Why did you decide to become a teacher?

It all started when I was a child: I loved to go to school and everything related with it. To learn and stay with new and old friends was my motor.

I like to stay with kids, we understand very well together. I believe to work with kids makes you happy. The daily work is an endless source of anecdotes. But you have to like it, otherwise it can be exhausting!  

4. What is the best part of being in contact with the children’s universe?

With no doubt, the connection I get with my students through motivation and fun. They can find a referent into the teacher’s figure: I become an example and they accept new activities and methods to learn. Once you have their confidence you can have a great impact on their lives.

I have learned how to see my daily problems from another perspective. To live surrounded by kids makes me realize that, as adults, sometimes we make things too difficult.

5. The best anecdote about your profession?

Many! From the one that I can see at the classroom until the ones they tell me about their lives… 

But some of the answers in exams have nothing to do with the theory, they can have a great imagination… Sometimes I have to stop correcting just to laugh.

6. Do you play games? Which is your favorite media?

In my spare time I love to play videogames, I’m old school, you know. I also play sports, board games and I used to play theatre.

7. Do you think to allow your kid to play games is positive?

Yes, always with moderation a respecting times and obligations. Games are engaging for kids. It is a good combination games to play and develop problem solving and mental capability.

8. What do you think about gamification? And, specifically, in education?

Actually, gamification is my main teaching method. It seems to be more motivating a game that a theoretical book. We must keep in mind that they are children. Children like to play. If we mix learning with a specific subject they will learn without notice it.

A motivated child will learn for sure, while a non-motivated child may not learn that much.

9. What do you think about Milk Hunt? How did you get to know it?

I think it can be a great complementary tool together with the school lessons. With Milk Hunt children practice mental calculation, subject who can be a bit boring on paper. A friend living in Denmark told me about it, she though it could be useful for my work.

10. What is your score in the game?

No score yet! I have Android, I’m looking forward to have the Android version of Milk Hunt available soon.

Fran Contreras

Teacher in Bilingual Public School

By Ángela R.

SKIDO Kangaroo

MEET the teacher!

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Meet the teacherMeet the teacher

Born in Switzerland, Katia S. has Mexican and Swiss genes. She is 30 and a great traveller: this lovely teacher has lived and worked in Switzerland, México and Denmark. Katia is a primary teacher since 2007. She works in a bilingual school in Copenhagen for 6 to 9 years old children.What an international background!

1. Who are you?

My name is Katia. I moved to Copenhagen in September 2014 to start my job at one of Denmark’s bilingual schools. My mother is from Mexico and my father is Swiss. I’m married to a Danish man.

2. What do you do?

I’m a primary school teacher. I obtained my teacher-diploma in Zurich, Switzerland and have been working as a teacher for 1st to 4th grade children, since 2007. After having grown up in Zurich, I was living and working in Mexico for the last 3 years.

3. Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I always knew that I love to work with people. I was very interested in psychology as well as in sociology. I see the job as a possibility to make a change in the world, to accompany those little human beings during a very important time in their life – to help them navigate in our society, to keep them curious and show them how to find the answers to their questions.

4. What is the best part of being in contact with the children’s universe?

I love the fact that children from the age group, which I’m teaching are very honest, curious, creative and emotional. I can always learn from them as well as they can learn from me. The happiness and pride you can see on their faces, when they understand something or can notice an improvement, is really nice.

5. The best anecdote about your profession?

I love the honesty of my students. Whenever I have new hairstyle or new clothes, they will always say what they think about it. Things like “you look great with that new hair”, “I don’t like your new shoes” or even “You have to cut your nails” are my daily conversations. They can have strong opinions about almost everything! If you want a brutally honest feedback go into one of my classes!

6. Do you play games? Which is your favorite media?

During my childhood I didn’t really play games on computers and I never had a Gameboy or Nintendo… but I always enjoyed playing different games, where you had to improve your skills or to find the best strategy to succeed.

7. Do you think to allow your kid to play games is positive?

Yes. By playing games you don’t only have fun and learn whatever the game is teaching us but also focus, patience, consistency, to handle frustration and success, follow and understand rules, remember things, find strategies and much more.

8. What do you think about gamification? And, specifically, in education?

I play a lot with my students. I´ve been working in different cultures and with different age groups and what they all have in common is their motivation and joy when it comes to playing games. The challenge is to find the right games for your purpose. Learning with fun is definitely the best way to learn. There are some subjects and contents in school that require a lot of repetition and memory skills, what can become boring with time. Making a game out of the repetitive exercises works very well and is motivating for my students.

9. What do you think about Milk Hunt? How did you get to know it?

My friend in Copenhagen presented it to me. I immediately liked the idea of connecting math-exercises with a game. I like the fact that you can choose the difficulty level in math. I find it as well very motivating to get new challenges when one level is passed. The summaries are also very practical for us, teachers, or for parents, so they follow the child’s improvement. I believe Milk Hunt is a good alternative to other games, for those parents who allow their children to play on tablets/smartphones.

10. What is your score in the game?

Very poor!! My problem weren’t the math exercises but the actual playing skills with jumping and collecting milk.

I´m sure my students would win!!

Katia S.

Teacher in European bilingual school

By Ángela R.