IOP Teacher Training Scholarships: From horticulture to physics teaching….

One of the many benefits of the IOP teacher training scholarships programme is that it provides an opportunity for ‘career changers’ to make a secure move into the teaching profession.

John, one of our current scholars is a great example of this. Before deciding to retrain as a physics teacher, John enjoyed a career in horticulture, but felt he could make more of a difference in the classroom. Here he explains why.

John - 2014 Scholar
John – 2014 IOP Teacher Training Scholar


“So many people rely on physics for work: mechanics, electricians, plumbers, builders, architects, engineers to name a few. It’s not just about university, it’s about making a difference to everyday life and it’s all around us if we actually look for it and don’t take it for granted. I am really looking forward to trying to make pupils realise that science makes our world tick.

“I’ve been lucky to experience a range of work. I started within flight simulation doing marketing on international exhibitions then moved into project management. Following that I switched direction, jumping ship to follow a passion in horticulture. This saw me managing plant areas in garden centres and using nursery work within a fantastic charitable foundation for disadvantaged youths.

“I’ve decided to train to become a physics teacher because I’ve always taken the time in my management roles to train and develop people and it’s a buzz to see them come on. Also, working with youth who had disengaged from school, made it really clear to see how easy it is to fall through the net and be left wondering who to turn to.

“For me, the scholarship isn’t just about financial reward, but about a wider support network. The enthusiasm that flows from the IOP about its mission statement to improve the understanding of physics in the classroom and raise standards through better teaching really makes you feel that you are not alone and there is support behind you.”

If you’re considering a career change into teaching, find out if you too could benefit from financial and academic support through the IOP teacher training scholarships programme.

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