"I’m in education as I want to be able to make the difference in someone’s life and inspire them to improve upon their own and become a success in anything that they do in life."
What led you to work for PETA?
Hi my name is Rich, I’m South African and been in the UK for 15 years now.
I worked on the gas and oil fields as a salvage and construction diver, I did subsea welding and fabrication on sub structures and well heads. After that I moved to the UK and got a job as a technician at Southampton City college. Within a month I started teaching. I worked for Southampton City college for 3 years before moving to Bournemouth and Poole college where I led the Fab weld department.
What is your role at PETA and what drives you to do what you do?
My role at PETA is Fab weld instructor, I teach fabrication of thick plate and welding in all 3 processes. I’m in education as I want to be able to make the difference in someone’s life and inspire them to improve upon their own and become a success in anything that they do in life. I have experiences in many aspects of life that I draw upon to help share my passion in what I do with my students.
What knowledge and experience do you draw upon for your role?
I draw upon various experiences in my life to use in my role, I use my discipline and drive that I learnt in the military to push myself to excel in what I do. My vocational experiences working offshore. Which included working to very tight schedules and very tight tolerances. Working in weird and uncomfortable situations but still completing the job. People skills acquired while living in very close quarters to many people for extended periods of time.
How do you approach your role on a day-to-day basis? What skills are required?
On a day-to-day basis you are required to pull in all your soft skills that you have learned and mastered over time. As an instructor no one day is ever the same even if you are teaching the same group daily. Be prepared for the unexpected and always have a plan “B”. Patience is key to our role as this will be tested daily. Planning is key too, if you don’t plan don’t expect to succeed. Remember you are an example to the learners in everything you do, from the way you talk to the way conduct yourself, be the difference you want to make.
What is your teaching style?
I believe in teaching from experience, teaching in a workshop and not from a classroom where possible. I prefer to let my learners touch and see what they are learning about rather than sit and watch PowerPoints or be stuck in a classroom. I’m strict but fair, I believe there needs to be structure, needs to be boundaries and there need to be consequences.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
I have 3 things that keep me occupied other than my girls. I go to gym 6 times a week for 2 hours per session, this helps me to centre myself. I do free diving/spearfishing when I can this helps me push my mind and body to it’s limits and when I reach those, I push myself further.
Then I have my spiders and my geckos, I have always been fascinated by all animals since I can remember, I have worked in zoos and reptile parks all through my childhood, I even ran an animal rehab centre in South Africa.
What are your personal values, and what is important to you?
Respect and honesty are my biggest values, I believe without respect we can not hold ourselves high, we respect ourselves and those around us, by doing so we make the world a better place, however if we are not honest to ourselves or others then respect means nothing.