New guest blogger: Early Career Physics Teacher from the South East

This is the first posting from Our Early Career blogger, who is beginning his first year of teaching following his NQT year. He completed a PGCE straight after his undergraduate degree in astrophysics and is now working in the comprehensive school where he did one of his training placements. Depending on his school commitments and international travel plans (read on to find out more), he aims to blog every month. Please do add your comments and share your experiences too!

“It’s a few days before term starts and I’m contemplating what I should write on my first ever blog. I’d like to be able to share some of my experiences, thoughts and a little about me. But be warned – things are going to get hectic and at times it may just resemble a jumble of confused, random thoughts!

Now it is the night before school starts and I feel like a schoolchild again. I’m so excited and nervous that I can’t sleep. There are a lot of things playing on my mind about the upcoming year, but the main one is that I am very aware how my timetable has increased. Having realised I only have three free periods a week what with all the commitments that I am continuing into this year, I am worried about how much my home life will be affected.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my job and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. But last year it became evident that my home/work balance was very much skewed towards work. Talking to fellow NQTs, I discovered that this problem affects many new teachers. I was determined to do the very best I could and to encourage as many children into science and physics as possible. But I found myself starting to drown in the amount of work I created for myself by volunteering for jobs I didn’t have time to do.

So one of my main aims for this year is to still work hard, but to be clever about how I do it and take some of the pressure off myself so that I can enjoy my home life a little more. Right we’ll see how that one pans out…

I have now been back at school for a few days and so far, so good. A few students have tried to try out the boundaries (and my limits), but I think it is safe to say that I have laid down the law. The big news is that I have been given a brand new science lab with computers built into the desks – very, very cool! There is still a lot of work to be done as it is basically a shell of a room at the moment, but I’m looking forward to making this my own space. The options now open to me for teaching are unbelievable.

More good news: today I got confirmation that I can take my Year 13 students to CERN in November, which I am very excited about, not least because I really want to go there myself! But putting that aside, this is going to be another great way to encourage those students into A-level physics and hopefully inspire them into physics-based careers.

So, this has been a good start to the year and this has been quite a positive blog. Long may it continue! I will leave it there while the going is good. I hope your start of term has been good as mine.”

You might also like our other guest blogger, a Physics PGCE Student Teacher in London