Panthers Of ISKL #39 - Celia Cookson


Panthers Of ISKL #39 - Celia Cookson - The Multi-faceted Educator

This week, we met up with faculty member Celia Cookson, who teaches HS Science and IB Extended School Services (ESS).

Originally from Liverpool, United Kingdom, Celia was one of the faculty who participated in our professional development Inservice Day event as an 'Ignite' speaker. There she presented her unique insight and experience on the strategic priorities of advancing learning and supporting organizational growth through the lens of this year's theme of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ).

Celia is also a Green Council supervisor, and has been paramount in continuing ISKL’s standing as a recipient for the Eco-Schools WWF Green Flag Award.

Here is her story.

"I wasn't always a teacher. In fact, I was a registered nurse and then trained as a midwife. In those roles, I experienced many highs and lows in people's lives and was exposed to many critical situations where decisions made were high stakes.

'I started to dip my toe into education when I was a practicing midwife and was involved in teaching and training medical students. While engaged in this, I received a scholarship to medical school but decided not to pursue this opportunity as I was a mother.

'I enjoyed education and began working in clinical audit and research within the pharmaceutical industry, which allowed me to be involved in treatments and developments at a much deeper level.

'I began teaching in 2002, in England, and haven't looked back. I have taught in Thailand, Dubai, and now Malaysia when I joined ISKL in 2016 as a Science, Biology and Environmental Systems and Societies teacher. I am currently teaching Grade 9 Science and am part of the curriculum team writing the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) curriculum.

'I teach IB ESS, which is a significant part of my life here. This is the most valuable course that I have ever taught, and I feel that all students would benefit from it! Every day we learn new things. The intersection between science, geography, economics, politics, psychology, ethics, and environmental studies is fascinating and rewarding.

'The 'Ignite' speech that I gave to the ISKL Faculty & Staff Inservice Day back in August, focused on social justice, racism, and climate change. As an ESS teacher, I live and breathe environmental and social issues. Still, lately, the Black Lives Matter movement and the sudden realization that I was privileged, purely based on my skin color and what that meant for daily life, was very powerful.

'In class, while learning about value and belief systems and the inputs that form them in us, a student commented on the powerful impact that being here at ISKL has on who he is. I started to think about my childhood and the person that I am now.

'I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to present but quite scared! I hope that people took away the knowledge that everyone is equal, no matter who has influence. The world will never change at the fundamental level unless we guide by example and encourage the young to ask the right questions and join the dots to make connections and find better pathways."

What does Be All You Are mean to you?

"Every person in this community can be a positive influence and be a part of the change needed so badly in this world.

The best way that I can think is that our words, deeds, and thoughts are impactful. We influence the fundamental value and belief systems of our students. We should never stop questioning ourselves and guide our students to ask, examine, and find better pathways.”