For many people, the decision to train to teach is made several years after embarking on a career in industry. For others, the decision is simpler and is made whilst studying at college or university, and is usually due to the encouragement and enthusiasm of an inspirational teacher. This was the case for Joseph, one of our 2013 IOP Scholars:
“I have chosen to train to teach because my physics teacher was the most inspirational teacher I have ever met. He introduced me to the world of physics and engrossed me into its abundance of fascinating information and knowledge. As a result I now find myself studying a PGCE in Physics with Maths because I want to inspire the next generation of students into physics, like my teacher did for me.”
Some might argue that trainee teachers going straight from university into the classroom are at a disadvantage to their more mature peers, who have gained additional life and work experience in industry. However, Joseph argues that being fairly young enables him to “bring something new to the teaching of physics and the way that many students envisage the subject.” Besides, the teacher training year itself “is designed to put you in good stead for becoming the very best teacher one can be”, he explains.
Of course, like all trainee physics teachers, Joseph is fully supported by the IOP. “Being awarded an IOP Scholarship is a privilege in itself as it has provided me with a lot of self-belief in my prospects as a teacher. The IOP Scholarship also helps very well financially, as well as academically, with a mentor assigned [to me] to maintain effective progress”, Joseph concludes.
If you are graduating this summer and are still wondering which career path to take, why not take a further look at teaching? Teachers of physics are in high demand which means job prospects are good and salaries are rewarding.
If you love physics and maths but can’t decide which subject you’d prefer to teach, it is now possible to train to teach both through a Physics with Maths PGCE course, just as Joseph demonstrates above. The biology and chemistry elements that would be included in a Physics with Science PGCE course are replaced with maths. This is perfect for those who prefer maths to the other sciences.
If that’s not enough, trainee physics teachers are also entitled to a substantial tax-free bursary or IOP Teacher Training Scholarship for financial support during training. There’s no time like the present to take a closer look at teaching.