Interview with Outdoor Education Teacher

Camille and Luis interviewed their Outdoor Education teacher, Mr Horgan, at Springbank School. As they had already returned to Switzerland and Germany, they interviewed him via Zoom.


Why did you choose to become a teacher?

‘I decided when I was quite young. I was equally inspired by really, really good teachers who understood us and were able to explain things clearly and talk to us respectfully as by the horrendous teachers. I was thinking: Nah, I can do better than that!’


Was it a good choice to become a teacher?

‘There’s nothing I’d rather be doing. I love working with people. You keep learning from the people around you. Your mind stays open, and it doesn’t matter if they’re four years old or sixty years old and they’re your colleagues. They can all teach you stuff.’


What is your favorite subject?

‘Probably teaching Outdoor Education. We did it very rarely when I was young, and I think I would’ve loved that. You get stuck in a classroom, especially in the English education system. And I think there’s more to it than that, so it’s great that there’s Outdoor Education where you can be outside and still carry on learning. Seeing what’s around us and feeling that emotional or spiritual connection.’


How is Springbank different to other schools you’ve taught at?

‘I’ve taught in Mexico, in the UK in Manchester and in Auckland and I really like this school because this is the first time I’ve worked in a private school. More than half of the students are compliant. At the other schools I’ve worked at the students were affected by poverty and so education was not their priority. And Springbank is really small so that’s a new one for me as well.’


What kind of sports do you do outside of school?

‘I do surfing, I’m going spearfishing this weekend, and I like to play some touch rugby in the evenings because I teach touch rugby.’


What’s something that’s really important to you?

‘One of the most important things I’ve learnt from being a teacher here, is that it’s important to learn about New Zealand history e.g. the treaty of Waitangi and then look at it as a reference point for the way that we work. The New Zealanders have a shared history and if you’re mindful of that it can help people in all kinds of way and maybe make some of the problems New Zealand has a bit better.’


Why we chose to interview Mr. Horgan:

Mr. Horgan is a really great, caring and funny teacher. He is very different from the teachers we know from Switzerland and Germany. We always enjoyed the lessons we had with him.


By Camille Clavel from Switzerland and Luis Nitschke from Germany

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