Teacher Spotlight: Andrew Karlsberg

03/02/20233 minute read
Teacher Spotlight: Andrew Karlsberg

Mr Karslberg holds a BA in History with Sociology (Combined Honours) from Bath Spa University and has over 15 years of experience teaching History, Social studies, and Geography in both New Zealand and Europe before coming to CGA in 2019 and helping with the opening of our world-class online school.

At a glance:

  • Social Science Head of Department, History and Junior Social Studies Teacher
  • Nationality: British
  • Based in Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Experience: Has taught at Macleans College & John McGlashan College in New Zealand and The English International School in Prague
  • His favourite quote: "I see the boy I knew in the man who stands before me".

Why I joined CGA

I was intrigued and looking for a challenge. John Morris's name gave the project mana and I was keen to be involved with a school start-up for the second time in my career.

Q & A with Mr Karlsberg

Q: What is your philosophy or approach to education?

A: If you enjoy your learning, everything is a lot easier!

Q: How do you get your students to engage?

A: Zoom classrooms are pretty up close and personal, probably more so than a brick-and-mortar classroom. I like to work the room, asking students questions to draw out ideas and understanding. As a Historian, there is usually some idea or notion to catch most people's imagination. In this day and age, all the answers (the facts) are out there already in our digital world, but teachers help to make sense of the arguments and the interpretation of those facts. That's what I do. Students do the reading before class and we make sense of everything together. Initially, I was worried that I would miss the teacher-student interaction of a brick-and-mortar classroom but I was pleasantly surprised to find this also exists online.

Q: What is the main difference between CGA and a traditional school?

A: There is far less downtime when attending classes online and there is a real focus on the academic. If you are self-motivated this model will work very well for you. In addition, CGA teachers write lessons for online delivery every day, we know what works and what doesn't. It’s not the same as bricks-and-mortar school teachers delivering lessons during the lockdowns of 2021/22.

We make use of a lot of different platforms and applications but the premise of good teaching, knowing your students, and how to help them understand and grow their own ideas remains the same.

Q: What is your most memorable moment at CGA?

A: I think this would be our first meeting in the CGA offices in Auckland, back in 2019. There were just seven of us back then with input from Jamie and a few other pretty remarkable people. It was a real buzz starting from scratch and launching a new school.

Q: Do you have any advice for your students? Is there something you wish you knew when you were at that age?

A: You're smarter than you think, and you're better looking than you think, so stop thinking and just do it.

Top Tip for Exam Preparation

Past papers! Even if you don't write the full essay, write a plan for each one you can find. The chances are that when you see the exam you will already have thought about the question or something very similar in your preparation time.

In my free time…

I gym just enough to make a little difference and to supply me with an endless list of injuries. In the winter, I like to snowboard when I can, and I plan to buy a sea kayak this year. I also enjoy a little DIY and I have just finished reading 'Mr Pip' by Lloyd Jones which I can definitely recommend.

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