Introducing our new Secondary Social and Emotional Counsellor Matt Conroy.
Matt earned his degree in Geography from Sheffield Hallam University and worked in Sri Lanka for four years teaching Geography. He returned to the UK to re-train as a Social Worker obtaining a Master’s in Social Work from the University of East Anglia. He moved to Thailand last year when his wife took up a role at Bangkok Patana School.
“I did a geography degree and trained to be a teacher, worked abroad for 3 years in Sri Lanka where I met Lorna. I came back and retrained in social work and have been there ever since. It opens the doors for counselling. I worked pre-dominantly with children and their families liaising regularly with schools regarding child welfare and safeguarding. I have been fortunate to obtain additional family therapy training through Birkbeck University (London) as a part of my professional development.
I have two children in Year 4 and Year 6 and of course Lorna who is the assistant principal. Over the last year I have helped to settle our own children in Bangkok Patana School and adjust to life in a new country – it has been a great adventure for all of us. I do quite a lot of running, I just ran the half marathon the other day. Cycling, swimming and going to the gym. That only turned around in my 40s, I decided I needed to be a bit more active. I support Blackburn even though it is getting harder to watch as they’ve been relegated.
Coming from being a parent first, your initial instinct is to be wowed by the facilities and what the school has to offer but the transition into teaching allows you to scratch beneath the surface where you see the effort and commitment by the staff. I’ve been amazed by how much time and effort has been put into everything. They really seem to think things through and review them annually. It’s a lot of really good, productive work going on behind the scenes that you never knew existed.
I would see counselling as … speaking to kids one to one, going over their issues and coming up with an appropriate and sensible solution. What I would like to do with the service is to be a bit more holistic but also think in terms of ECAs, in terms of parents and what different teachers can do to support the child.
When I first trained in the UK they had a home school liaison who could support the students but also go out and work with the parents as well. It stops a lot of issues escalating. It makes it better to address things early, the school can pick up the issues and putting some strategies.
We are looking forward to welcoming in parents and have them come in and speak to us and get to know more about what we are offering the kids and what we can offer them as parents.”
Learn about all our new teachers here: https://www.patana.ac.th/new-teachers-2019-20/