Thomas Simpson | GLP Rwanda

Tom Simpson is a Depute Head Teacher in Aberdeen. He secured this role shortly before leaving for his GLP summer placement in Rwanda and knew the trip would be useful for developing his skillset and network for the new term and position.

The GLP alumni network is growing across Scotland. The diverse make-up of this network – primary teachers, secondary teachers of different subjects, educational psychologists, school leadership – makes it a unique forum in which to share ideas and collaborate.

“Working across disciplines with those you may never otherwise have had contact with was wonderful for developing ideas. I am now more focussed that ever on the need for collaboration with colleagues and other practitioners and am currently looking at the issue of resilience building.”

Tom believes the experience has refined his communication and interpersonal skills, as well as his flexibility and the ability to think on his feet. The lack of technology in Rwanda has made him understand that computers are not everything and there are a great many ways in which to be a meaningful teacher and school leader without relying on technology.

Tom’s other observations from his GLP experience:

“Having moved to a new school, with substantial challenges, this experience has taught me that these can be overcome with patience and perseverance. You just need to keep faith that small changes will make a difference.”

“You can’t change the world overnight – concentrate on those who want to move forward and take the small wins on the way to help you overcome the hurdles, of which there may be many.”

“A teacher is there to inspire young people to want to learn, through adversity and hardship, to achieve their goals and aspirations.”