Simon Alles teaches math at The British School of Beijing (Shunyi campus). The German native decided to move to Beijing about a year and a half ago after being offered jobs in Qatar, Dubai, and Mongolia. What was Alles’ selling point on coming to Beijing? “BSB was the only school that allowed us to bring our absolutely magnificently smart and kind dog Oi,” he says. Alles shares more about himself with beijingkids.
What’s was your favorite subject when you were a student?
Modern Foreign Language (English, French & Spanish). Because I very quickly realized that [languages]would open the world for me, and they did. I spent the last five years on four different continents mainly travelling and studying.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be an oceanographer or a diplomat.
How would your students describe your teaching style?
The words I usually hear are fun and demanding.
What was your favorite book growing up? What are you currently reading? The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Currently I am reading Dante’s Inferno whenever my baby lets me.
How do you like to relax on the weekends?
Long hikes on the Great Wall. But I also enjoy indoor bouldering.
Where do you like to go on holiday?
I like going to places where I have never been before. Preferably when they are not industrialized and I can get involved in the local culture.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I recently started practicing the old Chinese tradition of metal whip cracking. Believe me, this draws a lot of funny looks from the locals with me being a) young and b) a foreigner.
What’s currently on your playlist? Motorhead, Danzig, Calle 13, JS Bach.
What’s do you find most rewarding about teaching?
It’s all about Karma. You do something very nice to your students and at some time your actions will be rewarded. Hopefully your students learn from how you treat them and start treating themselves and others in a similar manner.
Anything else you would like to share?
Seize every opportunity to be happy! I proposed to a girl after knowing her for seven days! Now we have a baby, two dogs, and have seen three continents together. Life is beautiful.
Photo: Courtesy of BSB Shunyi