Meet our new Secondary English teacher, Danny Nason.
Secondary English Teacher
Welcome to Daniel Nason, or Danny as he prefers to be called, our new Secondary English teacher. Danny was born in North Wales but considers himself originally from Leamington Spa in the UK. He comes to us from Hong Kong where he has been working for the past six years.
“I was looking for a fresh start and a new challenge and felt that Bangkok Patana School was the right fit for me. I was drawn by the amazing reputation and facilities of course, but for me, I am at a stage in my career where I’m keen to prioritise my professional development and what really stood out to me was the emphasis on professional learning and growth at the school. I was excited by the options available to take a step back from my leadership role and walk down a new path. But yes, of course, I was really impressed by the facilities in the school too; I love the map in the English Faculty! I grew up about 20 minutes away from Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of Shakespeare so really grew up surrounded by all things Shakespeare. Interestingly, I am still in touch with my old English teacher who brought Shakespeare to life for me- she managed to make Shakespeare’s stories real, showing me how his words need to be experienced, not just read- it’s not really poetry – it is performance.”
“I have been really pleased by how smooth everything is here; it is very clear that there are a lot of people working very hard behind the scenes to make it that way. I feel there is a great balance of supportiveness but also trust that I can do my job. I started teaching last year online in Hong Kong so I am used to it but there, of course, I already knew most of my students well. It has been a bit more difficult to get to know my new classes here in quite the same way, but for the most part, they have been very engaged, and it’s always a huge bonus when they put their cameras on and offer a smile at points in the lessons! I have spent the last few years teaching mostly IGCSE-age students, so I understand already the challenge of getting cameras on in that age group!”
Experience in the UK and Hong Kong
“I graduated from Manchester University and had a couple of years discovering and trying different things – including working at a medieval castle for a while! I did a communications and media role in a school close to home and that was when I realised I really wanted to teach- to get off the desk and into the classrooms. I got my qualifications and then went back to my old school where I had attended Secondary. It was really great – they were very supportive. It was interesting to work with teachers who remembered me as a student and to see them in such a new light. It helped me gain so much respect for my colleagues having seen them also as teachers. But after two years in the UK, I decided it was time to spread my wings and so I moved to Hong Kong. I was Head of House there and enjoyed it a great deal. I loved my time in Hong Kong, it felt and in many ways still feels like home. It was a very turbulent period with the demonstrations and the pandemic, but I did have a few good years!”
“As an English teacher I am a voracious reader and my passion for literature is something I try to bring to the classroom. Whether it’s a book I have read recently or getting students to bring in the books they have read, it sparks their interest in reading. In my old school, I led a group of students called the Reading Ambassadors, and we held book clubs, reading lists, and we organised some amazing visiting authors and writing workshops inspired by the books. When things re-open I look forward to continuing those kinds of activities, as I’m passionate about contributing to the wider school community. I’ve led debate and public speaking activities, coached our World Scholar’s Cup teams and been heavily involved in student leadership groups to name just a few experiences. Also, as I remember what it was like to sit and get bored in class, I find it important to include games and competitions to try and get the whole class excited and engaged in the learning. I like to find a fun way into the learning- even though it may not always be possible, I like to try and bring fun into the classroom.”
Passions in life
“When I am not reading, which admittedly is often, I love to travel and during this time of limited travel options, I like to go for walks and explore my surroundings- usually whilst listening to audiobooks. In Hong Kong we used to hike the hills a lot. I like to watch and play football and I’m a passionate Man United fan! I enjoy a good board game night or movie night and enjoy the odd pub quiz. I look forward to joining Kees Meinders on his pub quiz team! I used to love watching live music but that feels a long time ago now!”
“Whilst at Uni in Manchester, I worked for a year in the VIP lounge at Old Trafford, getting the chance to meet legends such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Sir Alex Ferguson but the highlight of that time was when I got to be the personal wine waiter for Sir Bobby Charlton and his wife. I’m a lifelong fan so I had to stop my hands from shaking, afraid that I would spill wine on this World Cup-winning legend of the game. A quarter of the stadium is named after him and there’s a statue outside and here’s me pouring his red wine! Fortunately, I never did so they let me have the chance to hold the Champions League trophy, the year we won both that and the Premiership title. As a lifelong fan, that was pretty special! That’s another thing that feels like ages ago now though- winning trophies!”