New member of the management board

This week we introduce you to our new member of the IST Management Board, Professor Eneken Titov. A BIG welcome to you and we know that together we are building something beautiful in the Estonian International Education landscape.

Education is my love and muse. I am dedicated to the development of education in Estonia, and up until today, I have been connected mostly with higher and vocational education, in particular, the academic affairs at the Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences. I am still participating as an expert in different educational projects like Edu & Tegu (development of entrepreneurship education at every level of education in Estonia, a programme funded by the EU and Ministry of Education and Sciences).

Despite my dedication to higher education, I am in touch with the developments in primary and secondary education. I come from a family of teachers – my grandfather was headmaster for 50 years, my parents were teachers – father taught physics and was headmaster for more than 30 years, and my mother was a teacher of Estonian language and Arts, even my mother-in-law is a teacher of Math😊 …and I am a teacher too.

I have been teaching teachers in the fields of study methods, pedagogy (especially entrepreneurship pedagogy), study organisation and school management for more than 15 years. Now I am teaching mostly master level students and adults via different training programmes. I have been participating as an expert in many different programmes and projects who’s target groups are secondary school teachers or management – school accreditations and quality assessments, teachers appraisal and assessment, creation and implementation of different competence models, training, teamwork development programmes etc.

I hold a PhD from Tallinn University of Technology in Business Administration and Management, and I am a professor of Management in Estonia Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences.

My educational philosophy is that “every child is capable of learning, every child is a talent”. Teachers’ role is to find and open this talent, and school management needs to create a supportive and creative environment for that.

Our School Director, Olavi Otepalu

This week our focus is on the school management and we take the opportunity to introduce you to our school director:

Olavi Otepalu

Director, International School of Tallinn (IST) 
I am honoured to have been chosen by Mainor as the founding director of the International School of Tallinn (since 2016). I have been working at top management level in the Ministry of Education and Research, being responsible for coordination of the issues related to the international education and visiting various international schools (mostly IB) across Europe.

My experience in International Education was anchored when I was afforded the opportunity to become the Founding Director of Tallinn European School, building it up from its very foundations to a successful school in Tallinn.

I have gained experience in the field of innovation and technology as an Estonian Biotechnology Programme Manager at Enterprise Estonia, establishing and implementing a national strategy to support the development of biotechnology in Estonia in collaboration with entrepreneurs, research institutions, governmental and international organisations. Previously I was involved in school management and teaching at several Estonian high schools.

I hold a Master´s Degree in Sociology and have a pedagogical qualification from Tartu University. I also went through the Master´s studies of a joint programme of various Estonian universities in the field of International Relations. I have taken many courses in school management including two full-time programmes in Educational Administration, led by the British Council (partly in the UK) and University of Tallinn. I obtained strong expertise in quality management system assessing the schools, companies and public organisations.

My educational philosophy emphasises the following principles: an individual approach to every child, technology use and entrepreneurship mindedness, use of best pedagogical practices.

Opening Ceremony

Dear families of the International School of Tallinn,

We take this opportunity to welcome you once more and keep you updated about the latest developments after our previous newsletter.

The Opening Ceremony will take place on 3rd of September starting at 09:00 in the Assembly Hall on the 4th floor. Families are kindly asked to arrive at the school between 08:45-08:50 and pick up the school access card. The access boom for parking will be open, and you are welcome to park your car in our parking lot. The assembly hall will be opened after 08:50 when rehearsals are done.

The Ceremony will not last longer than one lesson (45 minutes).

After the Opening Ceremony, we invite all parents to join us in the school canteen for light refreshments where families may address any questions to the school management.

Students will continue with the school day with their respective homeroom teachers, and after the lunch hour, they continue with subject teachers. Students are requested to bring their school bags with school supplies with them on the first day. We do not have lockers, but there is a place in the classroom for pupils to keep their belongings. Parents are expected to pick up their kids after their lessons end.

The school has no uniform. Please dress your children festive for the occasion.

School documentation. We have drafted some new policies including School Rules, Assessment Policy and Language Policy. School Rules are obligatory to all members of the school community including pupils, teachers and parents. You can access the documents on our website.

The cloakroom is located on the 3rd floor on the right hand immediately after entering the third floor. All pupils are also expected to bring with and use indoor shoes from the first school day.

eKool. All parents need to join the eKool system to consistently monitor the progress and study results of their child on a daily basis.

Please read the guidelines at the eKool portal for access rights to join eKool and for advice on how to use the portal. Should you have any questions, please contact our eKool coordinator Eve Oro: eve.oro@nullist.ee

Lunch. Our canteen will provide lunch as a buffet with several options. This enables every child to collect an appropriate amount of food with preferred ingredients. The meal is already included in the tuition fee. No hassle to parents for additional payments.

Grade 1-2 split. As we have been receiving more applications for Grade 1-2, we have decided to split Grade 1 and 2. As soon as we complete negotiations with potential teacher candidates, Grade 1 will have its own primary homeroom teacher. Ms Lisa Parker will be responsible for Grade 1-2 until the arrival of a new teacher; thereafter she will continue with Grade 2 alone.

Aftercare. We are waiting for responses from Grade 1 and 2 parents to make sure that there is a sufficient need for aftercare. We are expecting some critical demand in order to open the aftercare.

Extra-curricular activities. The school will conduct a survey to identify the preferences of families for afterschool activities. An Estonian private school Emili located in the same premises will also open the access to their extra-curricular activities in order to broaden potential options. We will inform families soonest.

Student Cards. All students may apply for the International Scholar Identity Card (ISIC). The ISIC card is the only internationally recognized student ID, and ISIC cardholders are members of a truly global club. There are more than 125,000 student discounts on offer, including 1,000 in Estonia. Please read more about ISIC cards and find the application form on their web page www.minukool.ee

Allowances. In some cases, families may be eligible for allowances like Grade 1 support or childcare compensation in the kindergarten (also provided by most of the municipalities around Tallinn).

School diaries. We are not using diaries in the school at this moment. Should our homeroom teachers want, our pupils to use diaries we will inform on time.

Dear families of the International School of Tallinn

We take this opportunity to welcome you to the new school year at the International School of Tallinn (IST). Thank you for choosing IST as the best place for your child’s education. Our team is ready to inspire.

We want the first day to be as smooth as possible for you and your family, and we hope that the following information will help this process along:

  1. School starts on Monday, 3 September at 09h00 with an Opening Ceremony in the Assembly Hall of the school on the 4th floor. The event will be attended by Mr Margus Nõlvak, the Chairman of the board of Mainor, the owner of the school.
  2. The Opening ceremony will last for approximately 45 minutes after which pupils will join their class teachers for the next two lessons. The timetable will resume after the lunch break.
  3. IST is located on the 3rd floor of the school building in Keevise 2.
  4. The school canteen is on the 4th floor, and canteen services are provided by a catering company Maitsed OÜ who will provide each child with a healthy lunch.
  5. School starts at 09h00 every morning and ends according to the timetable.
  6. Please ensure that your children have indoor and outdoor shoes.
  7. Access to the parking and entry gate is by use of an access card which you will receive from Office Manager Ms Taaja Martšuk on 3 September before Opening Ceremony at the venue or by asking from her after Opening Ceremony.
  8. The timetable for the tram 4 and for the bus 15.
  9. The daily schedule is made up of 3 hours in the morning, a one hour break and 3-4 hours in the afternoon (depending on the timetable which will be specified next week).
  10. Please ensure that your child has all the necessary stationery before the school year starts. Please check the school supply list.

 

 

At IST, our teachers are our primary assets

This week we continue to introduce you to more of the beautiful people who make IST the best place for all children who wish to have International Education in English.

Eve Oro – Estonian Teacher of the Year!

I graduated with a master’s degree from Tallinn University in 1991 as a teacher of crafts and home economics. I worked at Põltsamaa Gymnasium for 26 years and gained teaching experience with students from grades 4-12. I have been a homeroom teacher of students from primary school and also gymnasium. I have always loved my work and enjoyed working with students. I care about my students a lot, and I am always ready to listen and help them.

I am a member of the Association of Estonian Craft Teachers. I have also had leadership experience as a member of the board of this association. This is an excellent place to co-operate with other craft teachers, to teach and support each other. I have always contributed to the development of Estonian craft teaching. I have been part of the working groups of the Ministry of Science and Education to develop the Estonian National Curriculum. I have trained other craft teachers to share my teaching experiences. In 2008 I became a Senior teacher (the highest teacher’s position in Estonia). In 2005 I was chosen as Teacher of the Year in Estonia.

In my opinion, the essential concepts in teaching are divergent thinking and creativity. It’s important to teach students to think and solve problems independently and creatively. I give my students the skills and attitudes – “the tools”, which will help them in real life in their future.
I get my energy and passion from my family and hobbies. I like being active and eating tasty, healthy food. I am keen on fashion and interior design. Theatre and ballet are the things that charge me emotionally.

Devyn Alyss Allen – MYP coordinator and homeroom teacher

I graduated from Mount Vernon Nazarene University with a Bachelor of Arts. Specializing in Middle Childhood Education. I started my teaching profession as a classroom teacher at Mount Gilead Middle School in Ohio, USA.

I am currently serving as a homeroom teacher and Middle Years Program (MYP) Coordinator at IST.

I maintain a personal commitment to developing students as global citizens, striving to prepare students to become empathetic, knowledgeable, and principled adults who can apply critical thinking and creativity to myriad issues to build a sustainable and just world. Through innovative instructional strategies—including both classroom and community-based projects—I believe students develop the skills and knowledge required to succeed in a diverse society.

We establish and nurture the ideals of community, respect, and personal relationships by creating a classroom community that is open and safe, and students build trust with their classmates and with me. We are creating a space where students feel valued and encouraged to care about each other. In building community, we strive for authentic and respectful interactions, including cooperative learning strategies and class-wide activities.

I believe in providing an equal, approachable, and fair learning environment. Equality in the classroom means making certain classism, sexism, racism, ableism, sizeism, ageism, and religious intolerance never interfere with the education of the students. By providing powerful learning experiences, I try to bridge the diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds of my students.

We share ideas, strategies, and projects to design learning experiences for students to identify, research, and take action on issues they feel passionate about—making students into leaders and competent citizens in a global society.

I am passionate about softball and raising awareness about human trafficking.