James John Riley (AKA Jim Riley), was born and educated in Manchester, UK. He went to the prestigious Manchester Grammar School for Boys, followed by Durham University and Manchester University. He has held numerous management posts, such as Head of Humanities (History and Geography), Co-ordinator of IGCSEs, and Head of Year. The results of the students have always been of a high standard, with many of them receiving the highest marks in Spain for “A” Level History and continuing onto universities in Spain, Britain (including Oxford and Cambridge) and the rest of the world.
James is an experienced traveller, having visited Latin America, The Middle East, Asia and Europe. In the last 5 years he has travelled independently to Sri Lanka and Morocco, with his son, who is currently 10 years old. He and his son have volunteered, for the last three years, at The Foundation of Goodness, in Seenigama, Sri Lanka, where they have taught English, chess, cooking and sports. James is a keen sportsman and plays cricket weekly, with his son for The Costa del Sol Cricket Club. He played rugby union from the age of seven to the present day for Old Bedians R.U.F.C and Axarquia club de rugby.
James has lived in Málaga since 2001, and is a founding member of The Phoenix College of Malaga. He believes that the college will change students’ lives for the better and prepare them for their future educational journey, so we thought we would ask him a few more questions about life at Phoenix and his other interests…
How did you get into teaching?
I started teaching in 1993 in Manchester, UK, as I wanted to continue my interest in Geography, History and Politics.
Tell us a little about your time as a teacher?
I have taught for over 20 years in schools here in Spain and in the UK. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed the whole experience.
What do you enjoy most about being a teacher?
Obviously, the subject area, as you always have to keep researching and reading, which keeps the mind active, but also the interaction with the students in the classroom. There is a huge amount of positive feedback.
What do you enjoy most about Phoenix College?
I like the fact that we all, both teachers and students want to work together to improve ourselves. It is a great place to teach and to enjoy learning. We want to get the best out of ourselves!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
The best piece of advice was from my parents who always told me to try my best and be positive about life.
If you were on a desert island and you could have three items with you, what would you choose?
A wok to cook with.
A fishing rod to catch some fish. (Although I do not know how to fish, I would have to learn!)
A bath to relax in! (with hot running water)
What is your ultimate, go to gadget or app?
My record player and record collection.
If you could have dinner with a famous person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?
Keith Richards, as long as he brings his guitar.
Three words that best describe you:
Principled, Hardworking & Happy
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