For each newsletter, we will interview a BSB Teacher so that parents and students can get to know interesting facts about our teachers.
This month we interviewed Mr. David Wheeler who has been our Secondary Head of Science for the last 4 years.
1.Please tell us where you’re from and what brings you to Beijing?
I was born and raised in Aberdare, a town in the Cynon Valley area of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales. After completing my A-levels, I went to Swansea University and studied for a BSc in Physics and Medical Physics, attaining a 2:1 with honours in 2003. After completion of my PGCE from the University of Cardiff, I began my teaching career as the Head of Physics at a secondary Welsh-medium school in Swansea.
In 2009, I was successful in attaining a post in Beijing at a very large and prestigious local school, teaching A Level and IB Physics to Chinese students, eventually becoming the Vice Principal of the school in charge of the IGCSE and A Level programmes as well as being the International Award Coordinator.
2.What subject are you teaching? How long have you worked at BSB?
I have worked at BSB for the last 4 years as the Head of Science. I teach General Science for Years 7, 8 and 9 and Physics to our IGCSE and IB Diploma students.
3.Why do you want to be a teacher?
Teaching has been my only profession having moved directly to the role after graduating from university. My father was a Chemistry teacher and my mother a Science lab technician. They were a real inspiration to me and are one of the major reasons I pursued a teaching career. After school, I used to sit in the back of my father’s classroom and his ability to guide students, his fairness, and his sense of justice made me aspire to bring these things to my own classroom.
As a teacher, I believe that I have the responsibility to uphold the highest standards of teaching and to practice multiple ways of learning in the classroom so as to create an environment where all students excel academically, socially and personally. I am also a firm believer of the importance of extra-curricular activities and assist in all Secondary school MIT collaborated STEAM based projects here at BSB. I am also an assessor and award leader for our school’s International Award.
4.Speaking of education, who is your hero?
Having also been born and raised in Aberdare, I have always looked up to Lyn Evans CBE. He is a Welsh scientist who served as the project leader of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. Based at CERN, Lyn became the director of the Linear Collider Collaboration in 2012, an international organization managing development of next generation particle colliders, including the International Linear Collider and the Compact Linear Collider
5.What's your opinion about online class?
Even though nothing beats being in a classroom, being able to pre-record and record live lessons does allow students the option to review work at their own pace. As a teacher, online learning has also allowed me to further expand my skillset. I have discovered numerous new software platforms that have enhanced my teaching and many that I am keen to continue using once face-to-face learning returns.
6.Could you share with us one memorable story between you and the students?
Being part of the International Award, I have had some fantastic experiences on its Adventurous Journey including the opportunity to be part of a team that led a group of 50 high school students to successfully summit Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa’s highest peak.
7.What do you usually do in your free time?
Outside of the work environment, I am married and have two young children who are also part of the BSB Primary School. Most of my free time is spent travelling to and from the numerous piano, swimming and art lessons that my children attend after school. When we do get time to relax as a family, we enjoy the outdoors and are often out walking and hiking in the outer suburbs of Beijing.
When I was younger, I was also a keen martial artist, attaining a 1st Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate at the age of 14 and was a regular member of the U-18 Welsh squad. I have also trained in Tae Kwon Do and Korean Kickboxing and attained 1st Dan black belts in these disciplines as well as becoming Welsh Grand Master Korean Kickboxing Champion in 2007.
8.What's your favorite place in Beijing?
The Temple of Heaven. Having lived opposite this park for many years, both my family and I have some fantastic memories of walking in this wonderful park. Seeing the temple in the winter time is really cool. The snow sits on the trees of the surrounding area beautifully and the temple itself is great to see with a blanket of snow on it.