Phil Allman (UK) is the Head of Primary at the British School of Beijing (Shunyi campus). He’s been in Bejing just four months and lives here with his wife and daughter. As the first teacher to participate in our new blog series, Meet the Teacher, Allman shares a little about himself with beijingkids.
What brought you to Beijing?
Having taught in the UK for my entire career and as a Headteacher of 2 schools I felt the time was right to make the move. Our focus ended in Asia and I was fortunate enough to be offered the post here at the British School of Beijing (BSB), Shunyi.
What’s was your favorite subject when you were a student?
I had two: physical education and history. I was very sporty when I was younger and wanted to share that enthusiasm with children. I’m also a keen historian because it allows you to get under the surface of a topic to what really happened.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a professional sportsman when I was growing up. I was reasonably talented at both rugby union and cricket but by the time I left school I realized my real ability lay in teaching others to develop.
How would you (or your students) describe your teaching style?
I still teach even as a head of primary and my style is to get the children thinking. They are the ones driving their learning, it is my job to point them in the right direction. I’m infuriating (or so I’m told) in that I always answer a question with another question!
What was your favorite book growing up? What are you currently reading?
My favorite book growing up, perhaps predictably with my love of history, was a mystery set in Medieval England called Septimus and the Danedyke Mystery. Septimus was a local priest who had to find out who had stolen the church gold.I’m currently reading a murder mystery set in Sweden by Camilla Lackberg called The Stranger.
How do you like to relax on the weekends?
Spending time with my wife and daughter as well as walking in the surrounding area around Beijing. We have discovered some of the sights of Beijing but term time is very busy at BSB!
Where do you like to go on holiday?
We haven’t ventured too far at this point only four months into our time in Beijing but Thailand, Jeju and Sanya have all been mentioned in our house. When we lived in the UK our favorite places were Ireland, Southern France, and in England, The Lake District. We love walking and seeing new things.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I am very left hand dominant but was given right handed golf clubs as a gift when I was a child – it is to this day the only sport I cannot play left handed.
What’s currently on your playlist?
My playlist is influenced by my three children. Ed Sheeran and The Script have been put on there by them. I also have Kate Bush back on there after a long absence!
What’s do you find most rewarding about teaching?
Seeing the light come on when a child “gets it.” You know at that moment, you’ve made the difference you came into the profession for.
Meet the Teacher is a new beijingkids blog series designed to help the Beijing community learn more about international school teachers. If your school would like to participate in the series, please email the school editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Courtesy of BSB