We have an amazing team of inspirational teachers here at the British School of Beijing, Sanlitun, all of whom are passionate about teaching and learning and ensuring each and every one of our students make exceptional progress.
This week, we interviewed Thomas Wood, the Year 3 Hornbills teacher and Global Campus and Be Ambitious Lead, who talks about his teaching life at BSB Sanlitun and more!
Q: Why did you decide to teach at BSB Sanlitun?
A: I had decided to move to Beijing for several reasons, namely that I wanted to return to China after a period of working in the UK. (I previously worked in the southwestern city of Chongqing as an English Language Assistant from 2012 to 2014.) BSB Sanlitun attracted me because of its familiar curriculum, great location and because it was part of a large group of international schools. I was lucky enough to visit the school in person and was minutes into my visit when I realised that this was a school where I could see myself teaching happily. Fortunately, my application was accepted and I began teaching at BSB Sanlitun in August 2019.
Q: What is your role at BSB Sanlitun?
A: I am a Year 3 teacher and I teach the Hornbills class. I’m also responsible for overseeing Global Campus in school, which is Nord Anglia Education’s online learning platform, and promoting the school’s Be Ambitious philosophy.
Q: Describe a day in your life at school.
A: The majority of my day is spent doing what I love best: teaching lessons to my students that aim to engage them, excite them and inspire them in their learning. As we follow the British model at BSB, I teach all lessons to my students aside from Physical Education, Performing Arts and Chinese. I really like the variety of teaching everything: whether it’s maths, phonics, writing, art or science, I enjoy teaching lessons where children can really grow and develop their skills. The rest of the day might be taken up with organising activities for Global Campus and creating examples for the children to follow (everything from cooking a vegetarian meal to building a superhero hideout from LEGO!), planning lessons for the week ahead and monitoring the progress of my students.
Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching?
A: I once asked my grandfather, who was a police officer, why he enjoyed his job so much. He said it was because every day was different and that it was his responsibility to help other people. I would say something similar about my job at BSB Sanlitun: I think my most rewarding moments as a teacher are when a child does something independently for the first time, such as solve a calculation that they’ve been struggling with or read a text they’ve been finding difficult, and they become conscious of their own improvement and their own potential to improve. Knowing that I’ve been part of that moment is very special.
Q: Tell us about your life outside of school?
A:China for me is such a fascinating country and there is so much to discover. I really enjoying cycling around Beijing, often with no particular route in mind, and I come across all sorts of interesting places and people. I enjoy travelling to different places around China, experiencing the culture and food of different cities and provinces. Random encounters with strangers are always an interesting experience – as well as an opportunity to practise my Chinese! I also love reading and playing sport with my friends.