Panthers of ISKL #217: Harriet Garbers

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POISKL - Harriet Garbers

– The Well-Traveled Panther

“I am a G5 homeroom teacher working with a fabulous team of educators. No day is the same, and the students keep us on our toes! G5 is a pivotal year in any child’s ES journey, and I enjoy getting to know and guiding my students along the way.”

Meet Harriet Garbers, a Grade 5 teacher originally from the United Kingdom. Harriet hails from a family of educators and she taught in several different countries before arriving in KL. In her leisure time, she enjoys walking, wild swimming, writing, and socializing with people from around the world.

Here is Harriet’s story:


Please tell us more about yourself.

I come from a big family of teachers in the UK. My mother ran her own school, and we lived on the top floor of the school building when I was growing up!!

I started my teaching career in Kenya and have since taught in London, Cape Town, Genoa, Hamburg, Copenhagen, and Buenos Aires. I am married to Claus, who is Danish, and we have a son in Grade 11.

Harriet-with her family

When and why did you join ISKL?

From my very first encounter with ISKL, I knew it was a teaching community I would love to be a part of, and I was fortunate when an opportunity came up for me. I love the thrill of a dynamic and exciting international school environment, and ISKL does not disappoint!

Can you tell us more about your position as a Grade 5 teacher? What are your daily activities?

I am a Grade 5 homeroom teacher working with a fabulous team of educators. No day is the same, and the students keep us on our toes! Grade 5 is a pivotal year in any child’s elementary school journey, and I enjoy getting to know and guiding my students along the way.

Harriet Garbers with her students

Can you tell us something you are working on now that you are excited about?

We are currently running the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) focus unit with our students. This is an exciting climax to the learning year, as the students are encouraged to explore a passion of their own and work out how they can potentially impact the world around them.

What is the most enjoyable and most challenging part of your job?

The most enjoyable aspects of my job are the welcoming smiles of my class every morning, along with the support and good times with the team members. The most challenging part of my job is time management and trying to squeeze everything into the hours in a day.

Can you tell us more about your hobbies and interests? What do you do after work?

I love walking, and I come to school very early every morning to walk around the school track and get my exercise. When time allows, I love swimming in the sea. I enjoy wild swimming and will happily cut through the ice to take a dip!! I enjoy writing, and one day, I would like to spend more time focusing on my craft. I have met lots of wonderful friends during my time living abroad. I enjoy relaxing in their company, sharing stories of travel and adventure and the humdrum of everyday life.

Harriet went ice swimming

Who or what inspires you?

I am hugely inspired by my darling father. In his old age, he cares for my mother. His selfless love and care are remarkable. Dad has been a guide and mentor for me throughout my life. He inspires me always to do my best, count my blessings, and, above all, be kind.

What is your best memory (or most memorable moment) so far working at ISKL?

The Grade 5 residential camps stand out for me! It is so rewarding to watch the students in a different environment, tackling new challenges and gaining so much as a result of their many experiences. Activities range from paddle-boarding to designing clothes, caving, hiking, building a camp/shelter, learning how to tie knots, and attempting to keep a small dormitory room tidy with their friends.

Harriet-with other faculty

What does “Know yourself, care for all, and create a better world” mean to you?

In the chaos of a busy life, I know it is important to remain true to our values, and this phrase somehow acts as a guide to embed these precious principles.


Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always have an anecdote to tell, love to share some insights into their passions and interest, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.

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