"I was an accountant for 11 years at large multinational blue chip companies but in my heart I always wanted to be a teacher."
After Paul undertook a PGCE Primary and started teaching; he then commenced on an evening postgraduate certificate course as a Mathematics Specialist Teacher at the University of Reading.
" I was really blown away and impressed by the professionalism of the staff, how the course was run and by the facilities available to us."
"I wanted a course that was vigorous and grew me as an educator, and that's exactly what I got. The course taught me so much about linking research to everyday teaching life."
Upon finishing his PGCE Paul went on to teach at British schools in both Korea and Qatar. Paul wanted to become a deputy head and then head teacher one day and was very interested in further study to increase his knowledge and experience.
At this point he wasn't sure whether he wanted to come back to work in the UK so a flexible course was vital.
Having had such a positive experience previously, Paul decided to use the credits he had gained from his postgraduate certificate towards a Master's in Leadership and Management in Education at the University of Reading. Having accepted a deputy head position at a school near Oxford, he returned to the UK.
Paul worked in the day and attended evening classes. Then just before starting his dissertation he was offered a deputy principal position in one of the top international schools in Tokyo. Consequently, he continued his studies from long-distance.
"I found the university staff so supportive of my long-distance learning. They made it all so easy with, regular Skype calls, emails and face-to-face tutorials when I was in the UK."
Paul chose to do his dissertation on Leading Change in International Schools. He conducted semi structured interviews and spoke to highly experienced head teachers who had worked both in the UK and abroad.
" It got me thinking about how I wanted to be as a leader. Additionally, I feel my dissertation definitely had an immediate effect on my employability as people were interested in my research and how it could be implemented in their institution. I also put it into practice when leading my own team and ensuring my day to day management is as effective as can be. "
Paul graduated this summer and was offered a job as a head teacher at Panyathip International School, the British international school in Laos.
"Right now I love working internationally, experiencing different cultures and doing the job I love in different places. I won't rule out a PhD in the future but over the next few years I just want to enjoy living in wonderful Laos, and implement what I've learnt about leadership into leading change for learning improvement at the primary campus I'm responsible for."