An Interview with Mr Bridger


Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I was born in Guildford, and I grew up in a little village between here and Portsmouth. After growing up there I went to a university in Brighton. I then taught at a school nearby for a bit, and then taught at an international school in Kenya for 2 years, which was very enjoyable. I then went to Kuwait for a year and now I’m back here in London.

What made you want to learn and pursue Geography, History and Social Studies, and now teach them?

So I can remember when I was in Year 9 (Grade 8), we had to choose our subjects for our GSCEs and my Head of Year asked me what I wanted to do when I became older, to which I responded that I wanted to be a teacher. Despite being told against becoming a teacher at that time, I just continued studying the subjects that I enjoyed. I really enjoyed the human side of Geography, such as looking at population, the movement of people, and tourism. And then when I went to college for my A-Levels, there was a course called ‘World Development’ which was basically human geography, so looking at poverty and inequality and mainly why it exists across the world. When I went to University, I studied International Development, which I found very interesting. At this time, I still went about doing the subjects that I love and not really thinking too much about what I wanted to do in the future. However, what I realised after studying these big world topics was that I became, sad to say, a bit cynical about the whole situation – that there are powerful countries and poor countries, but most of the times the powerful countries keep those other countries in ‘their place’ as it benefits them more. So, I thought that I would most probably go into the charity sector, but at the end of my degree, that choice did not appeal to me. But what did appeal to me was interacting with people and having a job where I am not sat behind a desk typing away for eight hours a day but am actually engaging with people. So, I went back to thinking about teaching, despite what my GSCE Head of Year teacher told me and decided to give it a try. And, well, I’ve been teaching for six years now, and I still like it!

What made you want to come and teach here at Marymount?

What I enjoyed the most was teaching Geography in international schools in Kenya and Kuwait and I realised that the students had such a wealth of experience from other places that they had lived at, other cultures that they are part of, and when teaching Geography I learned so much more about them. When I found out I had to come back to the UK, I didn’t know that there were international schools here but I was so happy when I found one, as there is such diversity here, and I feel that a lot of the problems in this world come from people seeing differences as bad rather than something to learn from- and this definitely played a part in my decision to come here. Also, a positive factor was the opportunity for me to teach the IB, as I am realizing more and more that it is certainly very different to the GSCEs and A-Levels not just in terms of content but the ways in which it can be taught. I feel like it just gives so much scope for good discussion from personal experiences, and a lot of learning happens from that which I really like, rather than having to just learn stuff from a textbook for an exam or test. This is the fifth school I’ve worked at, and it’s definitely where I feel the most comfortable and happy even though I’ve only been here a month.

During your time here, what has been the most memorable/favourite event for you?

Not exactly a specific moment, but the overall atmosphere, like the green and open campus. Just the overall friendliness and positivity of not just the teachers but also the students here has been so lovely, and I think all of that has certainly made my start here so comfortable and enjoyable.

If you didn’t become a teacher, what job do you think you would have had?

Both my parents were in the police force, so I feel like I could have gone down that route. Or if not that, maybe a Guidance Councillor in schools.

If you had to describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?

Not-good at maths!

What are your extracurricular interests and passions outside of teaching?

I play the guitar and sing a bit, and I try and do sport whenever I can. I cycle to work, and I have been playing football since I was a kid, which I really enjoy. Also, recently I found out that I enjoy reading, especially dystopian books and other similar genres.

Do you have a favourite book/movie/TV show? If so, what are they?

I really liked this book called ‘The Heart Goes Last’, which I found very fascinating. I really enjoyed watching ‘Stranger Things’ over the summer, so that is probably my favourite TV series right now. For a favourite movie, I am getting married next year, so we surprisingly watched over and over again a movie called ‘About Time’ which has a very lovely wedding scene, which gave us some inspiration!

What is your favourite quote?

There is one quote that sticks out, which sometimes I have to use with lazy students, by Arnold Schwarzenegger, which is “you can’t climb the ladder of opportunity with your hands in your pockets”.

Give a fun fact about yourself.

I am a vegetarian!