Michael Gerrard launched his teaching career before he’d even graduated, coaching sport and teaching PE while he was still studying at university.
That was 16 years ago, and since then Michael has taught at state and independent schools in South Africa, been an English teacher in South Korea, and here in New Zealand he has worked across both primary and high school levels.
A born educator, the enthusiasm and commitment he brings to the classroom make him an invaluable addition to the ACG Sunderland teaching faculty.
You teach Cambridge IGCSE history. Tell us what you enjoy most about it.
IGCSE history is great as it gives you an in-depth perspective into what transpired between World War 1 and World War 2. I find looking into the events that led to World War 2 particularly interesting.
You also teach Year 8, 9 and 10 social science. What appeals to you most about this subject?
I love how social science incorporates lots of different subjects (geography, history, management and business to name a few). It’s so broad and has so many interesting aspects to it. I like the fact that we get to look at previous events and understand how they have helped shape our futures. I also enjoy teaching the practical aspects from a geography perspective.
How do you connect with your students to make your classes fun and engaging?
Developing a good relationship with each student is important as it allows for greater classroom engagement. I also encourage students to speak up and share their ideas and viewpoints, which always generates some lively classroom discussion!
What three words would your students use to describe you?
Approachable, organised – and I’ve heard one or two of them say scary!
What was it that attracted you to ACG Sunderland?
I enjoy teaching the Cambridge curriculum and ACG Sunderland’s relatively small class sizes allow for a more personal approach between myself and my students.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Seeing my students achieve their personal goals.
Where can we find you when you’re not in the classroom?
Playing sport, meeting up with friends and exploring different places.
And finally, what advice do you give your students to take into the future?
Take the chances you are given. Whether you succeed in them or not is irrelevant - just enjoy the journey they take you on.