Our People

Adam D’Souza

 
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Adam is an energetic, creative and persuasive individual with a love of life and compassion for others. A teacher, writer, speaker and entrepreneur, he has taught and managed schools alongside founding social enterprises in education.

Having always been fascinated by compelling ideas and words, Adam studied classics at Royal Holloway, University of London, before beginning his career in advertising. He was working for a brand consultancy when the recession hit. It was then he reflected on his life and realised that success looked very different from the materialistic ideal he had been pursuing.

He then decided to re-train as a teacher, to share his love of culture past and present with children. He taught English, history and philosophy at Hampton Court House, one of London’s most innovative schools, where he established a community learning programme allowing teenagers and adults to learn alongside each other, and led a re-design of the entire curriculum to prepare children to meet the challenges of growing up today. Recently, he has helped the education start-up Chatsworth Schools turn around a school in Wimbledon. He is currently working to launch a festival for families celebrating parents’ heroic role in education called Growing Minds Festival. He is also the co-founder of the tutoring and home-schooling company The Commons.

Adam is a keen skier, sailor and pianist. He loves recharging in the crisp air of the mountains, especially the French Alps, where he can be fully present in the moment of tackling challenging slopes. Avoiding burn-out is a challenge for Adam. In the past, he made toxic comparisons between himself and others, trying to live through the lens of other people’s aspirations. However, through self-exploration, reflection, creative work and the support of true friends – including his dear friend and co-founder Jacqueline – he has begun to pursue joy for himself, on his own terms. Adam is passionate about sharing his life experiences and helping others to learn and grow, whatever their age.

 

An interview with Adam

What makes a good teacher? 

You need to be able to understand and empathise with the motivations of your students, whether children or adults. I try to look back at my own school and university education, emulating the great teachers, and avoiding the boring bits! It’s also so important to have a genuine affection for the people you’re teaching; learning and growth rely so much on positive relationships.

What are you trying to encourage in your students?

The joy of discovery; an inquisitive nature; confidence to express your own ideas; optimism about the world. I want to share relatable philosophical ideas, using my teaching expertise to share complex ideas without over-simplification.

In your opinion, what makes Learnjoy’s experiences special?

Undoubtedly the quality of relationships. Learnjoy is a warm, inclusive team of eccentrics, who are all committed to helping you grow as a human being. Also the beautiful, off-grid locations we have scouted out. England is such an incredibly beautiful country.

Who or what inspires you?

Alpine landscapes and the English countryside, Ansel Adams (philosopher/photographer/explorer), Virginia Woolf (philosopher/author), Glenn Gould (philosopher/pianist)…the list goes on because I try to be inspired by everything I encounter.