Neil Commons, IBDP Physics & IBMYP Science Teacher

Teaching science brought together three important aspects to my life in a way that just made sense. So much so that many years later when I am older, wiser and with a much larger family, it still brings a smile to my face.

Working with young adults came first. Having been a Scout all the way through the program, becoming a Scout Leader was the natural next step. This was all about empowering those involved to challenge themselves; from climbing mountains to supporting the local community.

I had always enjoyed Science but was particularly inspired by a frenetic period of reading books by Arthur C. Clarke. I wanted to explore an area where you could really see the edge and the unknown, so selecting Physics with a specialism in Astrophysics fitted the bill, especially the later research into massive star formation.

I really did stumble across the third part of my life trifecta and for a while it led me astray. In my halls of residence at university my next door neighbour was studying “Broadcast Journalism” and wanted to have a student radio show. Alas, he really didn’t have a clue about music but he had noticed my vast collection. The ability to communicate to the masses and to tell a story in the process really clicked with me. I soon had my own radio show, helped run the station and even got an award. This was just the start. I soon got involved in a project documenting the impacts of third world debt while traveling overland from Leeds to Lagos in Nigeria. This led me to Working for Universal Pictures, but supporting another’s film with no moral compass or purpose quickly drained me.

Empowering young people, communicating ideas to the many and Science came together for me as a teacher. It was a revelation but also the start of a new journey. While teaching as a school in East London, I met my wife and we wanted to explore the world and since have worked in Thailand, Cambodia and Romania before returning to England and London to work at Halcyon.

Masters in Physics with Astrophysics from University of Leeds
PGCE in Secondary Science (Physics) from Institute of Education, University College London
Master in International Education from State University New York


HalcyonNeil Commons, IBDP Physics & IBMYP Science Teacher