Prior to becoming a teacher I worked for seven years as a Graphic Artist, for a small silk screen printing company on the outskirts of Cambridge in the UK. During my time at the company I started to develop a keen interest in the inner workings of computers, thinking more about how they work rather than simply how to use them. I decided to enrol in a degree course with the Open University. After four years of study I was able to put my knowledge and experience to good use and took up a position in the IT Department at Cambridge Assessment, one of the world’s largest examination boards, working as a Technical Assistant/Database Administrator. After graduating from the Open University with a BSc (honours) in Information Technology and Computing I started thinking about how I could put my degree to good use. I decided to give up work and train to become a teacher.
My first full-time teaching position was as an ICT Teacher and sixth form tutor at the Netherhall School and Sixth Form College Cambridge, UK. I really enjoyed my time at the school but decided to try and fulfil one of my lifelong dreams, to live and work in Southeast Asia. My first international teaching post was at the International School of Samui, where I taught ICT to students in Years 6 to 11. Once again I really enjoyed my time at the school, the staff and pupils were amazing. However, being a relatively small school they did not provide opportunities for post 16 study (sixth form).
After two years at the school I moved to the ABC International School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Living and working in HCMC was really great, the city is developing fast, the people are very friendly, and the students in my classes were some of the most enthusiastic and capable I have ever taught. However, I really missed living and working in Thailand. Aware of changes happening in the UK surrounding the teaching of ICT, I also wanted to move toward teaching Computer Science, a subject that was more suited to my background and qualifications. When a job came up at St. Andrews I jumped at the opportunity and applied. When I first stepped foot on the campus, when I came for my interview, I knew it was the right school for me.
My interests outside of school are wide and varied and include playing the acoustic guitar, fishing, adventure holidays, PC and Xbox gaming, digital photography, reading, live music, badminton, camping, walking/hiking, cycling, running – I ran the Great North Run in 2003 and have taken part in a number of charity fun runs in both Koh Samui and Saigon.
I cannot say with any degree of accuracy what exactly it is about St. Andrews that makes it a really special place to work, it just is. However, one of the nicest things about working here is the relationship that we as teachers have with the students and other members of staff, including the administration team, caretakers, maids, etc. Everyone just seems so happy and willing to help you in any way they can. I sometimes feel like the students' uncle rather than their teacher.
"Mr. Andy is a really funny teacher and uses easy, simple ways of saying things in activities to make lessons easier.”
“He has shown us a different way of learning that I think helps us understand work better.”
“Mr. Andy is very organised and helps us be self-sufficient. He also has the funniest personality of all teachers I’ve had.”
“Mr. Andy is an excellent teacher who will help us learn and be able to solve problems by ourselves.”