Linda Bastien always loved the idea of traveling and wanted to combine that passion with her love of teaching. Though Linda is originally from France, she went to the university in the UK where she also worked as a teacher. Bitten by the travel bug once again, Linda wanted to work in a new environment, meet new people, and get to know a different culture; a combination which led her to The British School of Beijing three years ago. Now the head of modern foreign languages at the school’s Shunyi campus, Linda and shares more about herself with beijingkids.
What’s was your favorite subject when you were a student?
As a student, my favorite subject was English and that it is the reason why I decided to study English literature at university. My first English teacher, in high school, was a real inspiration and she gave me a taste for the language of Shakespeare.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a teacher. I also wanted to be a surgeon but I quickly gave up on the idea.
How would you (or your students) describe your teaching style?
I like to think that my students find my lessons innovative and interesting. I use different types of teaching styles and tools to maintain enthusiasm. The idea is for me to share with my students a “slice of France” by telling them about the different cultural aspects, not just about the language itself.
What was your favorite book growing up? What are you currently reading? I love French literature and my favorite book of all time is L’Assommoir from Emile Zola. At the moment, I am re-reading The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.
How do you like to relax on the weekends?
I enjoy spending time with my husband and my son. We go swimming or go on days out.
Where do you like to go on holiday?
I like to visit new countries. I tend to prefer going to places where there are beaches though, as I spent most of my childhood in Reunion Island.
What’s something most people don’t know about you? I learned synchronized swimming for a year when I was a teenager.
What’s currently on your playlist? It is a mix between 80s and 90s music at the moment. It brings back happy memories.
What’s do you find most rewarding about teaching?
Just like any other teacher I like to see the students making progress and developing their skills in my subject. Above all, I like to see them thrive and become young adults with their own mind and ideas.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I love this quote from Nelson Mandela: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Photo: Courtesy of BSB