Teacher Profile: Tomas Thurman

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Year(s) and Subject(s) Taught
Year 6 – I teach all primary subjects but my specialism is science.

How long have you been teaching?
15 years.

What do you do in your free time?
I like to take my son swimming or out on his bike. If I have the chance, I enjoy snowboarding or wakeboarding, depending on the season. I also play football.

Why did you become a teacher? Why did you choose teaching as a profession?
I worked in an office for a year before I went to university and found myself staring at the clock waiting for each day to end. That is when I knew I needed more variety, challenge and creativity. Teaching provides this in abundance.

Tell us about your own education journey.
I studied Primary Education at Brunel University, London. Before this, I worked and travelled around the world as part of a ‘Gap Year’. This experience broadened my horizons greatly and was a significant factor in me eventually working internationally, initially in Tokyo and now in Kuala Lumpur.

What is the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
I was very proud of helping my school to achieve the Primary Science Quality Mark in September 2016. To have been through such a rigorous evaluation process and be recognised by this prestigious UK standard, is a credit to the staff and students at GIS. It was a great feeling to be able to document all of the fantastic science initiatives and learning that takes place and have that recognised.

What do you like most about teaching?
As a Primary teacher, I spend a lot of time with one group of students every year. I get to know them very well. Each individual has their own personality, interests, strengths and weaknesses. Being able to play a role in their learning, both academic and social, is something I find extremely rewarding.

What is the best thing about teaching at your school?
I love the diversity. One week we may be celebrating Book Week; the next, we will be on a camp in the jungles of Borneo. I can go from algebra to movie-making in the space of an hour. There is a genuine ‘growth mindset’ ethos shared by staff and students which encourages us to actively seek new experiences.

Who or what inspires you?
It may sound clichéd, but the children I teach do inspire me. Their resilience, optimism and enthusiasm is something that many adults could learn a lot from. I am also regularly blown away by the individual talent that I see, whether it be in the swimming pool, on stage or on canvass. I teach 10 and 11 year olds who are capable of things that I can only dream of!

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