I grew up in South Africa in the latter days of apartheid. My parents were classified as Cape Coloured. I attended an Independent Christian High school and then went to the University of Cape Town (UCT) where I did my Bachelors in biochemistry, going on to complete my Masters at Stellenbosch. I went back to UCT for my teaching diploma. For a year I was a full time professional rugby player in France where I played for Bordeaux and then also in South Africa. My wife and I came to the UK in 2001. My first teaching job in the UK was as a Sports teacher at a Grammar School. A friend knew a friend and told me there was a vacancy for a chemistry teacher at JFS. Before the interview one of my Cape Town friends had family who had been at JFS and that helped me have a feel for the place.
Working at JFS? It is simple. I like the students. They challenge you academically. From Year7 to A Level, the students want to learn more. They are very enquiring and always want to know how science relates to the outside world. They keep me on my toes. There is a lot of knowledge in the Science department so there is always someone who one can learn from.
JFS is a big school so this exposes you to so many colleagues from whom one can learn. The staff come from a wide variety of cultures backgrounds and experiences. I really enjoy that. Across the school I have made so many friends.
I was a KS3 Manager for science and now I am a Year Manager. I really get great fulfilment from this role. It is something I can see myself doing for a while. If you put yourselves out, there are great professional opportunities.
I find the ethos of the Jewish community to be hard working and wanting the best. This percolates through the student and parent body. Obviously I have learned a lot about Judaism and about Israel. It has given me all manner of different perspectives.
At the end of each week day I go home deeply satisfied with my career choice, the School I am in and the students I teach.