In the sixth of our regular series of interviews with staff at Dulwich International High School Suzhou, we are delighted to present the highlights of an interview with Andy Bostock who is a Physics Teacher at our school.
01. Where are you from and where did you grow up?
I was born in Kenya, as was my Dad, but left before I was 5. I would describe myself as a Londoner, as that’s where I grew up, and specifically from south of the river (Thames) – a very important distinction.
02. Tell us about your Educational background
I went to school at an undistinguished south London school named Dulwich College! I could tell you lots of secrets about the buildings like how to get out onto the roof below the clock tower. I have a slightly odd background as a Physics teacher as after Dulwich I studied English Literature at Oxford University.
03. When did you realize you wanted to become a teacher?
I retrained as a Physics teacher almost 10 years ago now. I have always been a passionate advocate of the importance of science in modern life, and when we started to have kids it was time to look into getting a ‘proper’ job. I was lucky to spend my first six years teaching at a fantastic Suffolk comprehensive (Ed Sheeran went there).
04. Who is your biggest role model?
When I was quite young I discovered the books of Paddy Leigh Fermor, a British adventurer, war hero and travel writer. He inspired me to travel, particularly to Greece. My daughter was born there and we ended up being Paddy’s next-door-neighbours!
In teaching, I was fortunate that my first Head of Physics, despite being much younger than me, remains the most inspiring colleague I have ever had.
05. What are your hobbies and what do you enjoy most about them?
I read a lot, mostly non-fiction – travel and history mainly, often about where I am. Fortunately my family enjoys travel as much as I do – our last trip was amazing, combing Hanoi, a real buzzing city, with hiking in the mountains of North Vietnam.
06. What is most rewarding about your job?
The occasional moments when I see that the ‘big ideas’ of Physics have inspired my students as much as they do me.
07. If you could be in any musical or movie or a book character what would it be? Why?
I’d be Han Solo. I would have thought the reasons are obvious.
08. Tell us about your experiences living in China and Suzhou
We were in Alexandria, Egypt, last year which was a difficult city to live in, so Suzhou is extremely pleasant and easy. I feel like I haven’t really got my head around China in general, but I learn more almost every day.
09. Any advice to students at Dulwich international High School Suzhou?
They’ve heard it all before, but I would really recommend becoming as fluent as possible in English – practice whenever you can. With English and Mandarin they have the two world languages of the future at their command. For this reason, I am hoping that my two kids get as much Mandarin as possible.
10. What are your plans for the next 5 years?
No idea! As a family, we love to experience new things and new places, but now the kids are at school, we also value a bit of stability. We’ll see what happens...