Your Name: Mike Godwin
Job Title: Head of Pre-Prep, Harrow International School Bangkok
What is your nationality and background?
I am British, from Stockport, Greater Manchester.
What is your profession?
I am Head of Pre Prep Phase (Year 1-5) at Harrow Bangkok.
What are the key skills and responsibilities of this role?
I am responsible for the welfare of students and the wellbeing of adults in Pre Prep; the day to day running, the curriculum, pastoral care and safeguarding. My mantra is that I must provide students and adults what they need when they need it.
How did you get involved in your profession?
Accidentally! After finishing school I took a gap year before the journalism course I had been offered. This gap year then turned into a super gap year! I first spent a few months at a kibbutz, in Israel, and then came back to the UK. One day, walking through town I saw a sign outside a shop with said ‘Can you drive a ski boat?’ I can, so I enquired and found the advert was for a job at a summer camp in America. I got the job which was a mixture of water skiing, sailing and outdoor learning working with small children right through to adults. I really enjoyed the camp and ended up staying there for three and a half years. I realised then that working with young people was what I wanted to do. I came home, told my parents I wasn’t going to study journalism anymore, I’d become a teacher, and signed up for a BA in Primary Education specialising in Curriculum at Manchester University. After graduating I worked at two different primary schools in the Manchester area becoming Assistant Head at one and Deputy Head at the other.
How does your role enhance the well-being or experience of children?
My job is to give teachers the tools and knowledge for them to do their jobs. I am the loudest supporter of the students and proud of all their achievements. I know that sometimes the smallest steps can be the hardest so I make sure that teachers and staff are in a place where they can help students take these steps. And that there is clear communication between everyone – teachers, staff, parents and student.
What challenges do you face in this role?
The large size of the school and dealing with unknown unexpected experiences. As well as maintaining the already high standards in the Lower School and improving them even more.
What do you hope to achieve within your industry?
Positive enthused lifelong learners
Who or what inspires you?
People who have overcome adversity, have come through challenging situations and still show off their best side no matter what.
Only a Bangkok local would know…
That the hardware shop, slash everything shop, at the back of the night market along Kosumruamjai Road is the best example of organised chaos I’ve ever seen!