IOP Teacher Training Scholarships 2014: Meet Rachel….

The second term of initial teacher training is well-underway for our 2013 IOP Teacher Training Scholars. Although they are still managing a heavy workload, there is plenty of exciting school experience to be had during the second term of training.

Rachel is currently enrolled on a university-based PGCE course. Before she could embark on her physics teacher training however, she had to complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course to further her knowledge of and confidence in physics. Here she tells us why…

Rachel scholar

“I studied environmental geoscience at university and once I graduated I worked full time in a primary school where my role varied from classroom assistant to learning support assistant.

“My decision to train to teach physics stems from studying physics at A-level. I found the subject very interesting. I also wanted to utilise my degree and inspire other people to study science at a higher level. I am very passionate about encouraging girls into physics, especially as when I studied it at A-level I was the only girl in all of my physics classes. I am keen to get into a science department to try to make a difference to the physics teaching taking place.

“As my degree was not pure physics I have undertaken a subject knowledge enhancement course, however having a physics mentor whom I can call on in a moment of crisis is a huge benefit to me! I also love the community feeling that is provided by being part of the Institute of Physics; you really feel like you will never be alone in teaching physics.”

Rachel shows that you do not necessarily need a physics degree to teach it. As long as you have some physics background (usually a physics A-level or work experience) and can demonstrate a passion for the subject, it’s possible for you to complete a SKE course before commencing initial teacher training.

The Government has introduced substantial financial support for anyone starting their teacher training from September 2014, including the prestigious £25,000 scholarships awarded by the IOP. Right now, the prospect of becoming a physics teacher never looked so good!