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08 March 2022

Teacher Tuesday: Geoff

Teacher Tuesday: Geoff

A unique blend of a lifelong passion for an exact science and a new love for the Arts: introducing Geoff, one of Ealing Independent College’s dedicated Maths teachers. 

Geoff is one of the longest standing members of the EIC staff. For this reason, and for so many more, it was such a pleasure to have a chat with him, ask him about how the College has changed during all these years and what kept him here for so long. 

Although he completed a PhD in Maths, he felt that he was too shy to immediately begin holding seminars and lectures at University in front of hundreds of people, but he quite liked the idea of teaching.

Thus, Geoff started his professional career as a Secondary School teacher at David Game College, and whilst he did find GCSE Maths quite simple compared to his prior University experience, he never stopped developing new interests and accepting new challenges. During this time Geoff also started practising and teaching the “Alexander Technique”, a discipline that teaches people how to move their bodies in order to feel relaxed and comfortable whilst eliminating pains and aches.

Geoff started working part-time at Ealing Independent College in 2002; EIC not only offered him the opportunity to teach Further Maths, which he found more challenging and therefore more enjoyable than simple Maths, but also gave him the flexibility of teaching part-time whilst also dedicating himself to other interests.

He also chose EIC for the care that the teachers received from the headteacher, Ian Moores, at that time. Geoff reveals that teachers felt that their needs were truly looked after in Ealing, but that was not the case in many other independent colleges.

According to Geoff, this care and investment in the College’s life and development was continued and even increased when Allan Cairns became Principal in 2020. Geoff affirms that since then “the College has improved beyond measure”, and at present the working and teaching culture is perfect to change a simple work environment into something much more special - a community. 

We found it incredibly heartening to get an insight of the positive change and improvements the College has seen over the years from a member of staff who has seen it all. 

Finally, Geoff disclosed that he has recently developed a new passion: he loses himself in the enjoyment and relaxation that comes from using oil paint on canvas.  He has known that he had a propension for arts since he was at University, but as a young man with a family, he preferred a secure teaching career over becoming an artist. However, the flexible hours at the College have given him the time to take painting courses and retreat from the world in his loft with a paintbrush in hand. 

Geoff enjoys painting so much that, when asked what he would pick if he needed to choose between Art and Maths, he answered that it would be an impossible decision to make. (Check out one of his paintings down below)

The Ealing College Community has helped him nurture and develop his painting hobby: he often seeks advice from Nazanin, the College’s Art teacher, who is also an artist outside of the College. Nazanin’s keen artistic eye can give constructive feedback to Geoff, who appreciated learning from someone who paints for a living. The two EIC teachers have painted together on some occasions, and created a strong friendship. 

All in all, Geoff’s experiences can teach us a very valuable lesson: after he finished his academic career, he did not have a plan on what to do next; Geoff prioritised his work/life balance, ensuring he has one that allows him to dedicate time to his hobbies and family whilst also having the reward and familiar comfort of his teaching job. Geoff continues to follow his passions and has tried a wide variety of different paths before finding the right one for him.  

We’re happy to see that Geoff has managed to balance the rigorous mind of a mathematician with the creative soul of the artist within him.  This balance is something that shows through in his teaching style and we’re very lucky to have him as part of our team.

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