Teachers in Profile – Meet Educators at Wellington College Tianjin

In this Teachers in Profile Series, educators from different subjects at Wellington College Tianjin will share their stories in China and teaching experiences for readers to learn more about why they chose teaching as their vocation, what plans they have for the future and why Wellington College Tianjin was their school of choice. In this article, various aspects of teaching and learning with Mr McAndrew will be unfolded from Wellington College Tianjin High School.

QYou have two decades of teaching experience in multiple countries. Could you share more about your experiences? 

Tom: Yes, I have taught in multiple international schools now and I have previously been the Head of subject for Geography and Head of the Humanities faculty in previous schools. Before working in international schools I taught in several settings each of which brings a wealth of educational experience, such as my work as a humanities teacher of deaf children. 

Wellington College International Tianjin

QWhat attracted you to come and work at Wellington College Tianjin?

Tom: Wellington College Tianjin was the perfect choice when trying to satisfy the holistic needs of myself and my family. I knew that here I could grow professionally and that I could expect a welcoming environment for me and my family. I did my background research on the school and I was very happy with what I saw and the impression I got. I previously travelled around China for two months and I really loved the culture and the landscapes and it inspired me back then. So when I thought about coming to live in China and made up my mind to live in Tianjin, it brought back many happy memories of travel here. 

Wellington College International Tianjin

QWhat made you passionate about teaching?

Tom: I think one early experience that helped make me passionate about teaching was trying it out as a volunteer teacher in a multicultural school in South Africa as part of a gap year before going to university and seeing that I could help create a passion for learning with other pupils. 

QWhat are your greatest achievements in your previous role? 

Tom: In my last school, I am proud of the team cohesion I helped to generate during times of online learning in the COVID-19 pandemic context. I helped pupils to learn the Humanities subjects to a high level despite ongoing extreme political difficulties in the country where my school was based and this provided an emotional lifeline to the pupils under my care at a time of desperate need. 

QAs the Head of Humanities, what will be your major priorities this year for teaching and learning?

Tom: As uninterrupted face-to-face teaching and learning continues, I think it’s important to try to achieve Wellington College Tianjin’s aims of increasing the risk-taking in learning, including more use of flipped and active learning. I really want the pupils to improve their oracy skills too – speaking to learn.  

Wellington College International Tianjin

Q: What advice would you give pupils who are interested in studying geography?

Tom: I would advise them to read material above and beyond what they learn in class and to watch geographical news stories and documentaries to keep their knowledge up to date. I would also advise them to try to stir their passion for both physical and human geography, many people lean more towards one than the other but balance is needed.

QWhat are your hobbies outside of teaching?

Tom: I love going out on my mountain bike and practising martial arts, Choi Kwang Do especially. I’m a keen reader and I also like to research and write geographical articles. I also like to listen to history, politics and psychology audiobooks and podcasts. I like to meditate and practise mindfulness whenever possible too. First and foremost is no matter spending time with my family . 

Media Contact
Company Name: Wellington College International Tianjin
Contact Person: Admission Department
Email: Send Email
Phone: (+86-22) 8758-7199 ext. 6027
Address:No.1 Yide Dao, Hong Qiao District
City: Tianjin
Country: China
Website: https://tianjin.wellingtoncollege.cn/