This led me to a children’s residential summer camp located in the remote lakes and forests of New Hampshire, USA, where I taught a diverse range of activities, from woodwork to guitar, fishing to American football. Having had a life-changing experience, I returned for 11 summers in total, becoming the program director in my sixth year and ultimately working with young adults whom I had comforted for homesickness a decade earlier! Playing such a pivotal role in the development of children into adults was a defining moment in my life, leading me to realise that working with young people would undoubtedly be my vocation.
As would be expected from someone who chose to teach English as a profession, I have always a keen student of literature and particularly favour the social commentaries of John Steinbeck and Arthur Miller. Wishing to broaden my mind by attending university, in between my summers in the USA I attained a first-class degree at Roehampton University in South West London, followed by a master’s degree at Goldsmiths in East London. In 2014, I completed my PGCE at Canterbury Christ Church University, graduating with Distinction, and subsequently taught in a fantastic secondary school in Kent for four years. In August 2018, I made the leap to NAS Dubai and am relishing my time at such an outstanding school in such a diverse environment. We are incredibly fortunate to be living in at a time in which working in another country is no longer an improbable dream but an achievable goal and the chance to work with so many different nationalities in such a reputable institution is one that I am making the most of!
In the classroom, I love using literature texts as the springboard for debates about the world around us. A great novel, play, or poem is not just one that entertains, but that forces us to consider our own attitudes. Young teens have a wealth of literary riches at their fingertips. The morality of war is considered in Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy; racism and terrorism in Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses. Considering these issues in the classroom has led to some extremely lively debates that always build a deeper understanding of the writers’ messages, allowing students to access the very top grades and evaluate their own positions in society.
Outside of the classroom, I’m a keen sportsman and love to play five-a-side soccer. I’m also a basketballer and can often be found on the court after school attempting to dunk (though I’m still not quite there!). However, my particular sporting passion has, for the past decade, been Ultimate Frisbee. At Roehampton, I co-founded the University’s inaugural team in this sport and still enjoy playing in friendly tournaments today. I’m also a huge New York Jets fan but the less said about that the better!