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

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  1. yusuf saheed. O says:

    whaoo! What an amazing career. A career of my dream. Teaching physics is not only eciting but also build confidence in one that teaches it and sweeten the soul. Now that am a college graduate. Am eyeing for where i could start teaching physics but here in Nigeria without much certificate like Msc PhD. Your chance into academics is not sure even if you love to do and have flier for teaching. I know that as soon as i finish my one year mandatory services,i will pursue my academic career as i haven all ready teach physics and mathematics in some tutorial centre and also took first,second and third year student many areas in physics whilst in college. I believe i have the experience.

  2. David says:

    Wonderful that you have successfuly laid down the law – just look out for the bounce when the honeymoon is over!

    Very glad that you have spotted that one can’t do every job / take up every new opportunity – I’ve been at it for 10 years and still haven’t worked out how/when to say no!


  3. Mark says:

    Yes indeed, teaching is a very rewarding career. I too was inspired to pass on my enthusiasm for physics and started a course in teacher training. I found my school placements intense and enjoyable. At the time I was also offered a job in industry and was struggling to make a decision. Unfortunately I had some conflicting attitudes with the teacher training course. Being accused by my tutor of wrongly being physicist first and secondly a teacher made my mind up and I left the teaching route. Still very keen to encourage new scientists, I joined STEM as an ambassador but I could not see myself as a teacher first over my passion for science and engineering.

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