Violetta - Ukraine
Shirin is full of creative energy and always tried to present information to us in a highly interactive environment and create a space for learning from the strengths and weaknesses of each other. It was especially evident during our practical lessons, in which she kept empowering us for independent work by giving us a chance to lead activities and modify them with regards to student needs.
For the best of our academic performance, Shirin always allocated extra time to provide us with multiple layers of thorough feedback and revision of our written and performed work. Her feedback was insightful and often stimulated me to look at the task from novel perspectives. One of the biggest lessons that I learned from her was the importance of targeting the specific audience by considering the situation and background of the people, to whom you intend your work (their knowledge, interests, needs, etc.).
Shirin always set up high expectations for her students and was very particular about the quality of work and with deadlines. It stimulated discipline and created a positively challenging learning environment.
Shirin was also my supervisor for two-year long research that resulted in Extended Essay - one of the core elements of IB - on the topic of “The Production Elements in Street Theatre in Israel and Ukraine.” Since the very beginning, she provided me with advice and guidance in identifying my areas of interest, as well as ways to benefit from my strengths and improve the areas of growth. She created and facilitated space for peer-support and revision throughout all stages of research and writing. The result of her support is reflected in A grade that I received for my Extended Essay.
She was very passionate about her work and cared about her students holistically. She was a great support for me outside of the academic environment when I was going through a hard time in my private life. Additionally, she was very sensitive to intercultural understanding important in such a diverse social environment as UWC.
It has been an absolute pleasure to learn from her, and I sincerely wish her all the best in her future endeavors.
The Winter’s Tale
I joined The Winter’s Tale as an understudy for one of the leading actor’s one week before the opening night. There was a risk that she would not be able to perform because of sudden and severe health issues, and I had to learn the entire script in a couple of days. I would never have thought that I could do that, but Shirin empowered me and provided me with all support and resources I needed. Even though I did not end up substituting for the role, it was a fantastic experience to participate for the first time in such a grand and professional play.
It was fascinating for me to see how with a professional distribution of work and dedication, Shirin succeeded in making things run smoothly even one week before the opening night. She inspired everyone for hard work and dedication despite the academic overload of the fall term. Shirin created an environment in which everyone knew their specific role and the entire ensemble showed a very high level of collaboration and support for each other. I could especially feel it personally because I joined near the end of the process, but they made me feel very welcomed and helped me understand the social dynamics and expectations on my side faster.
It was a vibrant experience, and I regret not joining from the very beginning.