Andrew has a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from the University of Delaware, and did his teacher training with academics affiliated with Homerton College, Cambridge. Additionally, he is the English Programme Co-ordinator at the Hong Kong Institute of Technology, where ITS offers consultancy and support for an English-language diploma course for Hong Kong post-secondary students.
He has been teaching since 1999 and specialises in History and English Literature. At ITS, he also develops and organizes both on-site and external courses in English language for language learners, and provides teacher training and programme development consultancy for individuals and organizations.
On becoming a teacher:
I was a journalist for many years before dipping my toe into the education pool; I discovered that I enjoyed teaching, was fairly good at it, and after a few success stories with my students I was hooked. Nowadays, I find myself mostly teaching History, and when I can tell an interesting story from the past that grabs my students’ interest, I consider that a good day’s work. It also allows me to delve into more interesting child development outside of the rigid curriculum such as opinion forming. For instance the work of Christopher Hitchens - a controversial, outspoken figure (even I don’t agree with a great deal of what he had to say) who had the courage of his convictions and compelling arguments, like them or not. Getting students to engage with challenging material and opinions and come to their own conclusions is immensely satisfying.
Other interests that reflect my personality as a teacher:
I’ve played guitar for over 30 years, and have given the odd lesson here and there. Trying to find a way to “teach” a skill as wide-reaching as music (practical aspects, theory, rhythm) is challenging. I haven’t always been 100% successful.
Someone I find inspirational:
George Washington. Nowadays it’s easy to think of Washington as a sort of unflappable hero who always had the answer, masterfully planned every battle and invariably made the right decision. However, in truth he was all-too-human, had as many failures as successes and was, very often, wracked with self-doubt. Despite all of this, Washington learned from his (myriad) mistakes, never let them get him down, and kept on going. A lesson for all of us.