Virginia Zamora Lopez
Learning Support teacher, Elementary and Secondary
What year did you come to YIS, and where were you working prior to YIS?
I joined YIS in August, 2019. Previously, I worked in other international schools in Venezuela, Argentina and Laos.
What do you love about the subject you teach?
I love that I get to teach and learn from and with a wide variety of students and teachers. I love the challenge of collaborating and creatively designing learning opportunities that are meaningful and accessible to all learners.
What sports/non-academic activities are you involved with at school?
I enjoy leading yoga sessions with our students and participating in service learning opportunities.
How does your degree in clinical psychology apply to the daily responsibilities of your job?
As I interact with students and teachers in their learning environment, I am able to identify possible learning barriers that individual students may be experiencing. Having an understanding of the most common learning and developmental differences that we might encounter in our student body allows me to collaboratively select and implement best practices that will positively impact student learning and wellbeing. The expertise and experience within the Learning Support team are the foundation for a program that advocates for students and empowers teachers to best support them in an inclusive manner.
How would you describe the IB Program, and its value, to parents?
I would say the value of the IB program lies in its inquisitive nature which taps into personal interests and attitudes to pursue purposeful learning. As a result, we aim to raise empowered and reflective learners. The program values diverse perspectives and backgrounds which makes for a richer learning context for all.
What is one positive surprise about your students that came about from the shift to Continuous Learning last spring?
I was surprised by the student motivation and engagement. They demonstrated a sense of responsibility and belonging to our learning community by participating and trying their best despite the different challenges that they were experiencing away from school campus.
What are your passions and interests, and do you have opportunities to incorporate them in your role at YIS?
I thrive in highly collaborative environments and at YIS I am given the opportunity to contribute to different subject areas and grade level teams. I have enjoyed teaching yoga to young students and helping them explore it as a self-regulation activity.
What do you find attractive about YIS, and Japan?
YIS has a holistic approach to teaching and learning combined with a greatly committed, knowledgable and caring staff. Japan has wonderful well-conserved natural places to explore and a highly functional transportation system.
What profession would you like to try aside from teaching?
I would try to be an arborist or a trapeze artist.
Who in history would you like to meet with and why?
One person I'd like to meet would be Frida Kahlo. I would like to learn more about how she built a life for herself through her unique artistic expression despite her chronic illness and pain.