1. Teacher Profile: Richard Castle

Teacher Profile: Richard Castle

Published on 16 Aug 2017
Educators' Perspective
Richard Castle Thumbnail  

Year(s) and Subject(s) Taught Year 10 - 13 (Age 14 – 18).

How long have you been teaching? 20 years.

What do you do in your free time? Walking, reading, sports and going to the cinema.

Why did you become a teacher? Why did you choose teaching as a profession? I worked in industry before becoming a teacher and felt that I never really made any impact on anything or anyone during my working day. By being a teacher, I have a rare opportunity in moulding and influencing tomorrow’s generation.

Tell us about your own education journey. I went to school in Harrow before going to Lancaster University in the UK to study Management. Following university I worked in the Hotel industry and radio for two years before choosing to study a postgraduate teaching degree in Business Education. Since entering the teaching profession I have completed several courses in boarding and education. Most recently I have embarked on a postgraduate Masters’ programme in Education.

What is the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far? There are two significant standout moments in my career. The first was in the UK when I was asked to attend an educational symposium which was later broadcast on BBC national television in the UK. More recently, I have had the pleasure of being part of the pioneering group that have set up Epsom College in Malaysia. In my role as Head of Boarding I have led a team of outstanding pastoral leaders in establishing what in my opinion, is the finest boarding school in South East Asia.

What do you like most about teaching? Teaching is one of the most varied and enjoyable jobs in the world. Even though you teach the same subject every day, deal with the same students every day, not one day is ever the same. The interactions one has with the student changes minute by minute and living in a boarding house you can tangibly see how the relationship between staff and student grow and develops to one of trust and understanding. It is a privilege to be a Housemaster in a boarding school as it affords you the opportunity to mould and shape tomorrow’s generation. To be in this position is a great responsibility, one that you should not take lightly, but one that cannot be replicated in any other current profession.

What is the best thing about teaching at your school? For those that have attended boarding schools anywhere in the world, especially the UK will know that everything is about tradition and pride in one’s House. I am sure we have all seen Harry Potter and the almost obsessive pride the students took in being part of Gryfindor or how much they disliked Slytherin. This, along with the established traditions of formal dinner dances, prize days as well as the inter-house events gives students a sense of being part of something greater than themselves. This is a wonderful thing for students and staff to buy into and this is something that we at Epsom College in Malaysia have slowly been building over the past two years. What a privilege it is to build the foundations of what in generations to come will be seen as ‘our’ tradition.

Who or what inspires you? I have always been inspired by people with a ‘can do’ attitude. I have witnessed students who have never swam before just jump in the deep end and swim, to other students who just get up on stage in front of hundreds of people to perform some form of solo. There are too many people who vacillate, I am inspired by people who lead from the front and go and do.

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