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Adam Kemp


1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and what were you doing before arriving at THINK Global School?

I am from Barnsley, a small mining town in South Yorkshire in the north of England. The area is full of natural beauty, where you are never further than a short stroll from farms, forests, or moorland. Before joining TGS, I spent six years teaching internationally, first at Dulwich International High School, Suzhou, and, more recently, at Singapore International School. I studied traditional Fine Art at University, specializing in painting and drawing during my studies. More recently, I have developed my art practice towards various printmaking techniques such as silk screening and photography.

2. What do you love most about teaching?

The fundamental drive behind my initial pursuit of a teaching career was to positively impact the unquestionable importance of education concerning the continuous progression of society. My ambition as a teacher is to guide and facilitate students learning by modeling the importance of creative curiosity, celebrating individuality, and developing a love of learning beyond the confines of the classroom. As an art educator, I am privileged to observe students grow in a creative environment with no predetermined outcome; instead, there are limitless pathways a student can follow that result in a broad spectrum of unpredictable artworks.

3. What aspects of THINK Global School’s educational model do you find most appealing?

The opportunity to educate in different environments around the globe with projects built upon each location’s unique history, culture, and economics offers authentic learning opportunities beyond the restrictions of a traditional classroom. Each environment provides opportunities to develop and refine new understanding through first-hand experiences. Combining different learning areas into a holistic education model from different subject areas into multi-faceted projects rather than stand-alone courses.

4. If you could make one major change to global education, what would it be?

I would alter the over-emphasis on examination as a metric for assessment and progress, in addition to updating the content of learning taught in traditional education settings. From my experience of schools, I would like to see a modernization of global education, with a greater focus on personalized learning directed by students and moderated through projects and portfolios rather than assessing the ability to retain information. The content taught also needs to meet the demands of the ever-changing global working environment, ensuring students leave school with the knowledge and skills to fulfill their career and life aspirations.

5. Describe your teaching style or philosophy. Do you have any unique teaching methods you use to keep students engaged?

I do not see my style of teaching fitting into any particular style or philosophy and is more an amalgamation of different approaches and good teaching practices I have learned from my peers. I aim to deliver stimulating learning experiences, providing the students with an insight into various globally renowned artists. I want to unlock their creative potential and inspire the students to search for answers raised by the theories and philosophies presented by artists, submerging them into the endless possibilities of what can be considered Art. Exposure to a diverse range of Art and discussing the current affairs that influenced the artwork at the time of its creation promote global awareness. Students learn by connecting ideas and concepts across different disciplinary boundaries, finding an area of artistic inspiration that is both relatable and relevant to them personally, to promote interest and engagement with the course.

6. Which of our core values do you feel you most embody, and why?

I think I can see myself in several of the core values. If I had to select one value, it would be ‘Grit’ as this value embodies my perspective and outlook on life. I firmly believe in the importance of new challenges to promote personal growth and question the pre-perceived limitations of our potential. Throughout life, we all face barriers and problems that must be navigated and resolved. Often in retrospect, these problems are, in reality, inconveniences. As more challenges are concluded, the greater our ability is to sidestep, slip under and jump over obstacles on our life path enables us to become resilient individuals.

7. Tell us about your favorite teaching experience pre-TGS

As an Art teacher, my favorite experiences all come at the end of projects when students have produced an outcome and fully realized the intentions of their ideas. A recent experience was a social messages project where students explored the SDGs and created a public artwork in response to a selected goal. The students’ artwork amazed me for their explored ideas’ skill level and complexity. The project allowed me to appreciate how connected young people are to global issues and the depth of their understanding. Outcomes included artwork that depicted the corruption caused by money within governments, how microplastics have entered the food cycle through plastic pollution in the oceans and the outdated structure of judicial systems.

8. What is your most memorable travel experience thus far?

I consider myself very fortunate to have traveled to a diverse range of countries that have all offered unique, memorable experiences and opportunities to emerge myself in the local culture. From the beauty of the Spa mountains of Vietnam, the sensory overload of Tokyo city, or the minority tribes of China, each travel experience has allowed me to glimpse the heart of a country by stepping off the usual tourist travel path. My most memorable experience will forever be my trip to North Korea, where I spent a week in constant amazement and confusion. From the bag search after immediately crossing the border to meeting the artists producing renowned propaganda posters. Every moment of the journey was new and unexpected, concluding with an incredibly bumpy flight home on Air Koryo that I hope never to repeat!

9. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?

This is a difficult question because I am utterly obsessed with new experiences and environments. So, I will cheat and provide three locations, each with unique reasoning. Firstly, the Amazon. For many years I have been amazed by the diversity and curious about the spiritual realm of the Amazon rainforest. I primarily blame Bruce Parry for my interest in this remote part of the world, although I am unsure how I would cope with snakes as they TERRIFY me. Second, New Zealand. Simply because of the landscapes and variety of terrain on the island. I would love to rent a camper van and take my time to explore each road and dead-end slowly. Last on the list would be Indonesia. While in China, my ambition was always to hop between the countless islands. Hopefully, one day you will find me flicking through a book on the white sand of Lovina Beach or diving off the Kuta coast.

10. What is your favorite book, and why?

I am an avid reader interested in books examining actual events and memoirs of individuals who have had extraordinary life journeys, both past and present. A few books at the top of my must-read list are Wild Swans by Jung Chang, On Roads That Echo by Charlie Walker, and Walking the Nile by Levison Wood. However, one book that stands out for the significant impact on my mindset and challenging my potential is Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. This book is more than just another self-help book. David Goggins is the real deal; a man who came from struggle and hardship, accomplished many impressive feats and became one of the toughest men alive. In this book, he lays out his life story, with all the difficulties he faced and how he came out stronger for it. With this book, he doesn’t just offer short-term motivation but a profound shift in your mindset that will help you achieve your fullest potential, as long as you’re willing to do the work.

Ready to embark on the educational journey of a lifetime?

A passion for travel. A strong academic record. And the desire to improve the world as you experience it. If this sounds like you, you just might be our ideal candidate! Start your application with a five-minute inquiry form - you never know where you might end up.

It all starts here.

Ready to embark on the educational journey of a lifetime?

A passion for travel. A strong academic record. And the desire to improve the world as you experience it. If this sounds like you, you just might be our ideal candidate! Start your application with a five-minute inquiry form - you never know where you might end up.

It all starts here.

Apply now

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