I chose teaching as I missed the deep questions of physics

Image: Shutterstock/Lia Koltyrina
Image: Shutterstock/Lia Koltyrina

I graduated from university in 2013, and quickly rose to a senior sales position at a lighting and control manufacturer.

While passing knowledge on in a business environment is enriching and leads to great financial success, I missed the deeper questions that the study of physics provokes, and the conversations that follow.

I’m also concerned that the general interest in physics in schools is appallingly low, and as we move into a more automated and technological world the need for everyone to have basic physics knowledge is absolutely crucial.

I’m therefore now training as a teacher through Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, Lancashire, taking a flexible course which I am on track to complete within a year. Most recently I’ve been on placement at a rural secondary school (for ages 13–19) in Berwick-upon-Tweed, which has proven a most interesting environment in which to train. I’m scheduled to complete the remainder of my training at a larger secondary near Grimsby, ages 11–19.

So far I’ve been enjoying sharing ideas with young people, and I also enjoy the school lifestyle and feeling of community. At the end of last year I was able to join in the school’s Christmas talent show, which brought together all staff and students for a light hearted afternoon of fun.

The IOP scholarship has helped me enormously with the funding needed to support my training and the sharing of information through the Stimulating Physics Network, where fellow trainees and experienced scholars and teachers can support each other with advice and resources. The opportunity to meet and keep in contact with fellow trainees at other universities and on other training pathways is hugely helpful and although I am only presently half way through the training process, the IOP guidance and support has helped me to secure a job offer for the completion of my PGCE, where I have already begun developing ideas for a weekly STEM club I will be running.

Having this peace of mind through the remainder of my training will allow me to best develop my skills with a student focus, rather than concentrating on how my practice best evidences my own abilities.

  • You could train to teach with a £30,000 scholarship from the Institute of Physics. Apply online now.
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Martin Spurgin

Martin is a trainee physics teacher and IOP Teacher Training Scholar

Latest posts by Martin Spurgin (see all)

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