Mr Wilson's #teachereffect at St Mary's
We want to spend this year celebrating some of our teaching staff who help make St Mary’s School, Cambridge such an inspiring place for girls to learn and flourish. We call it the #teachereffect.
Sadly, we can’t cover all our teaching staff; however, we will be showcasing several over this year in many diverse areas and from across the school, from our Junior School to our Sixth Form. We continue our series with Mr David Wilson.
When did you start at St Mary’s?
I started St. Mary's in September 2018 as Head of Economics and Enterprise. I am also the Leadership and Service Co-ordinator, overseeing scholarships at the school.
What did you do before you joined?
I began my teaching career at an all boys school in Manchester where I stayed for 3 years, during which I also completed a Masters in Education. Following this I relocated to Cambridge, working at an International School for a year before joining St. Mary's. Two years ago I also became a school governor and am now Chair of Governors of a local primary school.
Were you always interested in Economics, Business Studies and Enterprise? What fuelled that interest and why that subject and area?
My father was a businessman and my mother was a teacher so in a way I have followed both their footsteps! I have always been globally minded and from a young age was both fascinated and frustrated by inequalities I would read about, both within and between countries. I therefore very quickly developed a particular passion for Development Economics at school and during my Economics degree. I have also always been amazed by the influence and persuasion of marketing which led me down a path of studying a series of related business modules whilst at university.
What have been your highlights of working at St Mary’s?
Part of what makes St. Mary's such a special place is many of the activities that go on outside the classroom. Watching academic scholars perform a genius rap about Iceland's first female president during the annual Balloon debate or performing comedy and poetry they had written themselves at the Scholars Evening particularly stand out. Also being asked to perform a Chicago-based dance routine choreographed by the students as part of the Sixth Form Revue last Christmas was excellent fun.
Why do you enjoy teaching?
Helping and interacting with people was always the overarching driver when deciding my career. Every day in teaching is totally different and highly unpredictable, meaning that you are always challenged and kept on your toes. I am particularly lucky in that I teach subjects that most students have never studied before when starting in lower sixth, and the ability to watch them progress and know I am playing a key role in that journey is highly rewarding.
In your opinion what are the benefits of teaching Economics, Business Studies & Enterprise in an all-girls environment?
Teaching at St. Mary's gives me a platform from which I can meaningfully address the under-representation of women in the fields of economics and business. If there is to be more equality in key managerial roles or in policy roles within governments then it is critical that change is implemented at school level. Capturing the interest of young woman and showing them the importance of their place in these fields from an early age at least begins to tackle this systemic problem.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I try to volunteer as much as I can. I currently volunteer with Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group, driving supplies to Calais and distributing food there at weekends, after 18 months as a Youth Development Worker for Romsey Mill. I also try to fund raise by choosing a different physical challenge every 2 years; I have cycled John O'Groats to Lands' End, ran the London Marathon, walked the National Three Peaks and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, raising over £6000 for various children's charities in the process.
What advice do you have for all the students you have taught – past and present – to help them on their journey in life!
Try to meet and socialise with as many people from different countries, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds to you as possible. You have so much to learn from each other and it will make you a much more well rounded and open minded person in the long run than if you always surround yourself with others like you. Take an interest in other's hobbies and passions, especially if they are polar opposite to your own. Don't spend your whole school life trying to be the same as everyone else, because as soon as you leave you will realise that it is being different that makes you stand out!