Faculty Friday: Samuel Peyton

Sam is originally from Ipswich, Suffolk in the UK where most of my family still live. I went to University in the UK after taking a gap year to work and travel around the World. After University I again travelled, this time to Japan to work as an EAL teacher, before returning to the UK, to complete my teaching qualifications. After working in London, I then moved into the International teaching world and have never looked back; having worked in Kenya, Egypt and Switzerland prior to arriving in Seoul.

What is your role at Dwight School Seoul? 
I am currently the IBDP Coordinator. In my current role I support students through the Diploma years, academically and also their wellbeing through the Body Mind and Soul Programme. My role also involves supporting teachers in the delivery of the IBDP and specifically the administration of the requirements of the Programme.

What made you decide to work in an education setting?  And what is your philosophy?
Not everyone knows what path they want to take when they leave school and university and our routes to where we end up are often not straightforward. I guess I “stumbled” into the education setting, but then quickly fell in love with it and knew it was the field I wanted to pursue. As a keen traveller after completing my degree in Biology, I still was unsure of my path; this is where fortune (a flatmate), literally handed me an application form to teach in Japan and suggested it might suit me. This was the start of my journey into the education world.

My teaching philosophy is extensive, I could, and have, written pages on it! But to keep it brief, I believe in a balanced education based on an enjoyment for learning. We are born curious, we crave throughout our early years to discover, experiment and try new things. The challenge as educators is to help our children keep this underlying wish to “know more” even as they move through the school system where learning becomes more standards driven. Accepting that everyone is different, including yourself, and that learning looks different for everyone helps us build respect and belief in ourselves and others around us. As a teacher what inspires me is not that I can change the world for the better, but that the students I teach can, if they are given the skills, attributes, belief and confidence to achieve.

What do you like the most about working at DSS?
Community. As a parent and teacher I am in a position to see both sides of Dwight and see the strength that is formed by the close bond a small school instils. Knowing and interacting with students that I may never have taught, being able to see and be inspired by 4 and 5 years old, even though I teach 16-17 years olds, epitomises the benefits of a smaller, community, one campus school.

What are your interests and or hobbies? 
My “bucket” currently is very much filled with my young family and all that entails, and I wouldn’t change that for anything. When I do get a chance I enjoy reading, movies and sport (although now more as a spectator than participant). I love the outdoors and walking and watching wildlife.

Who inspires you and how?
The people who inspire you change over the years, as you yourself change and your priorities change, but for me a constant has always been David Attenborough. Although never a teacher in the traditional sense, this is someone who effectively has reached and taught millions of people about the Natural World for over 70 years. A quote from him that is on my office door is “No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced”

Preserving the natural world is and should be a priority for us all, but to really want to save, for example, the rainforest, you need to experience the rainforest, see and hear the beauty and majesty and therefore fight and mourn if you risk losing that. Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to visit a rainforest and experience it first hand, but getting a glimpse into that world through wildlife documentaries can inspire the drive to protect it, as a known, rather than unknown entity.

What have you been reading lately?
I usually have three books on the go, a travel literature book, a classic and a novel. At the moment the travel books really help with me missing the ability to travel and experience things first hand. I’m currently re- reading Michael Palin’s travel series books, but also love reading Simon Reeve and Levison Wood. I’m re-reading my way through Jules Verne Novels and my novels of choice for “escapism” are usually either historical fiction or fantasy; authors including Bernard Cornwell and John Gwynne being two or my “go to” favourites.

What global challenge would you like to see tackled and how do you see yourself contributing to the positive change that you desire? How do you see yourself contributing to making an impact/being the solution?

Done within Q5: preserving the natural world.

What is one fun fact about you that others may not know or may surprise them?
I am a bit of a Birdwatcher and love to wander around listening and looking. My record day (In Kenya) was breaking the 100 species spotted and identified in a single day!

Why would you tell a prospective family to choose DSS?
Choose Dwight because we understand individual personal growth and are driven for every child to feel successful and valued, whatever their strengths are.

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