Pathways To Learning... Since 2005
Hong Kong Registered School 566985

In-Person or Online

Course Finder

Maxine Telfer

Teacher Of Psychology

Qualifications :

B.Sc., P.G.C.E.

Subjects :



Maxine has been teaching international students for twenty years, including Psychology for 14 years. She has been an examiner for ten years. The majority of her experience has been teaching and tutoring GCSE, A Level and IB Diploma Psychology. She spent many years working for ESF in Hong Kong before returning to UK where she taught Pre-Bachelors Psychology and Pre-Masters Developmental Psychopathology courses at the Durham University International Study Centre. One of her favourite jobs was working as an IELTS examiner for the British Council in Northern China. She now brings all this experience to ITS through our virtual school.

On becoming a teacher:

I first became a teacher so that I could travel the world and learn about new cultures. At the start of my career I taught English as a Foreign Language in Australia, Thailand, Germany and Italy - I loved teaching so much I then trained to be a high school teacher. I have taught Psychology at international schools in Beijing, Hong Kong and Prague and I am still loving being a teacher - helping young people on their way to the universities of their choice.

Keeping abreast of current research in the dynamic subject of Psychology means that my branch of teaching is never finished or fossilised - new breakthroughs are always being made, previous ideas reassessed and evolved. New psychological discoveries that alter our understanding of us as human beings are constantly emerging. Psychology is a living subject that my students can help in the growth of.

I love the broad range of topics that Psychology allows a student to explore, from the chemistry of the brain to how children learn to the extent that culture can affect your personality.

Many of my students come to my classes having never learned Psychology before, so when they are so fascinated by the subject that they then go on to study it at university it makes me proud. Teaching is its own reward, but some of my former high school students now work in the field of Psychology - and that’s rewarding too.

Other interests that reflect on my personality as a teacher:

While living in Hong Kong I was a keen dragon boater. I loved being part of a team and we all needed each other to be effective. I try to pass that idea of collaboration, respect and recognition of people’s unique and individual skills to my students.

I also read widely and often - non-fiction for research reasons and fiction as a way to relax and escape from the world for a while!

People I find inspirational and why:

I admire Professor Sarah-Jane Blakemore for her work on the adolescent brain. Not only has her research been ground breaking in terms of our understanding of teen behaviour, but she makes her research findings accessible to a non specialist audience. As a parent and a teacher, I have learned from her publications the science behind how teenagers think and behave.

I always find Greta Thunberg’s no-nonsense approach to talking to world leaders pretty inspirational. She has certainly inspired me to think more deeply about climate change and the power that teenagers have to make changes in the world.

Top tip to younger self:

Don’t think twice about training to become a teacher - working with young people will bring you so much joy.

And maybe put some more effort into learning Chinese - you’re going to need it!

Dulwich College Singapore

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

Share Now!