COORDINATOR/TEACHER OF ENGLISH & PHILOSOPHY
G iles Pinto began teaching 15 years ago thanks to two key influences in his early years. Not only was his mother a teacher and “shared with [him] a passion for engaging others through education,” he was also able to see firsthand the impact that great teachers had on students with diverse backgrounds as he finished high school in northern Canada. He is now the coordinator of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program and teacher of English and Philosophy at Branksome Hall. “I enjoy my position as an IB Coordinator precisely because every day is different,” he says. “I could be meeting with students on their personal projects, with parents for reviewing assessments, with teachers on curriculum planning or with other administrators on scheduling,” he says. His individual education philosophies include focussing on the core concept of a particular topic; encouraging students to actively consider what is significant in their learning; as well as the importance of self-regulation. When he’s not in the classroom, Pinto is often busy in his role as coach and event planner for the public speaking and debating program. Part of his focus is now on arranging the Nora McRae Public Speaking Tournament, which, he says, attracts participants from across the province every spring.