How does BSG compare to other schools you’ve taught at?
Prior to working at BSG I taught at two very academically successful schools, yet our students consistently outperform even those. As a teacher, it is great to be apart of this type of success. However, the most striking difference between BSG and the other schools that I have taught in is the incredibly positive relationships that exist here. I genuinely believe that BSG is the friendliest school that I have had the pleasure to work in.
This is your 8th year in Guangzhou, what keeps you here?
As mentioned above, I love the school and it has helped that my role at the school has changed 3 times during my time here. I spent two years as the Deputy Head of Secondary, 4 as Head of Secondary and was promoted in 2016 to Vice Principal. I thrive on new challenges and have been fortunate enough to be given fresh experiences at BSG so my interest has never really dipped. I also really enjoy living in Guangzhou. It has changed so much in the 7 years that I have been here and believe that it is for sure an easier city to live in now than when I arrived in 2010.
What is the most challenging thing about being Vice Principal of the largest international school in Guangzhou?
The biggest challenge for me is dealing with a reduction in my interactions with our students. Teachers tend to go into teaching because they enjoy seeing their students develop and make progress academically, socially and personally. We revel in their achievements and this is best experienced first hand, in the classroom. My role has taken me away from the classroom so I miss this sometimes. The second biggest challenge is that as a school we are constantly looking to improve. This and the growth of the school means that the rate of change has been exhilarating, yet also exhausting at times!
How does our ‘be ambitious’ philosophy help our students and our staff?
The hardest part of being a teacher is when you see a student not maximise their potential. The “Be Ambitious” philosophy tries to make sure that this doesn’t happen. It challenges the students to fulfil their full potential, which is a wonderful goal for young people to have as they start out in life.
What do you do with your spare time in Guangzhou?
My two passions are travel and being active, so at weekends I love to get out on my bicycle and explore different areas of Guangdong. We really are very lucky to have such beautiful countryside around us and I have enjoyed seeing this immensely. During school holidays I enjoy travelling further afield and am probably happiest when I am combining travel with an activity. Be it hiking, kayaking, diving or cycling, as long as I’m not sitting still, I’m usually having fun.
Do you have any suggestions for new teachers arriving?
You will love teaching here. Every ounce of work you put in will be paid back through the appreciation and successes of our students plus Guangzhou will provide you personally with countless opportunities; make the most of them and above all, be ambitious!