Oddball Jobs Teachers Had Before ISM

Article by: Aayush Gupta

Photographs by: Nina Mabasa

The wonderful thing about an international school is that it serves as the the center of various diverse cultures and experiences – and that is not just limited to the student body. Every teacher’s unique journey often goes unnoticed, but teachers here at ISM are no stranger to unique experiences.


Ms. Roseleip, who has been teaching mathematics for 16 years, had a career in professional kickboxing before she started teaching. According to Ms. Roseleip, “Dedication to training was essential, competitions were intense but exhilarating, and mental focus had to be really strong.” However, she explains that this has really helped her in managing her students, and furthermore, she believes that sharing this experience “is exciting to show diversity and passion,” stating that one should always pursue their passions. Ms. Roseleip described her most memorable moment as a kickboxer as her first amateur fight against Holly Holm, who recently defeated defending champion Ronda Rousey in UFC 193. Ms. Roseleip explains that although she lost the fight, it was her most “intense” experience in the ring. Overall, she is extremely happy to have had the opportunity to pursue her passion for the sport. Although she admits that “reliving the glory days would be awesome,” she says that she has “no regrets” for not being able to pursue the sport further, as she was able to become a teacher of her other favorite thing: mathematics.  


Mr. Berg, a geography and history teacher at ISM, has had one of the most diverse career experiences. Before becoming a teacher, Mr. Berg worked on an assembly line, managed an apartment complex, built bicycles, worked as a customer service representative for a large corporation, and, at one point, simultaneously held three jobs. Mr. Berg explains that working a multitude of jobs really allowed him to “develop the skills to relate to a wide variety of people,” and “develop a lot of compassion for the plight of the average worker.” When asked if he would like to return to one of his older jobs, Mr. Berg said, “Being a teacher is the greatest job ever!” However, after a little thought, he added that if he had to choose, he would return to building bicycles for a living as “there’s nothing cooler than taking something that doesn’t work and making it work.” Mr. Berg has been teaching for about eight years now, and hopes to continue for years to come.


Mr. Richardson, an economics teacher, had some interesting insights to share regarding his career with Interpol before he became a teacher. He maintains that his years at Interpol allow him to “see the funny side of things,” and “look at things from others’ perspectives.” Describing a curious incident, Mr. Richardson said that he was assigned to a case where a man was being extradited from France to Hong Kong. Mr. Richardson further described that the man claimed he was “forced to confess by Interpol agents,” who “hung him upside down from an eleventh story window.” Although he described his experiences as “terrifying,” he claims that they were “exciting at the same time,” and, given a chance, he would do it all over again.

Evidently, it is fascinating to see that ISM is home to such diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. All the teachers, students, parents, administration, and everyone part of the ISM community adds something noteworthy to the history of the school, and will be remembered for years to come.