Teaching was always at the back of Andrew’s mind. He knew he would pursue a career in the classroom one day, but he didn’t realise that day would come around so soon…
“In the end it all came down to timing. My brief stint as a content writer taught me that a job which involved sitting in front of a desk all day would not work for me.
“Teaching had always been on my radar, but had been something I envisioned doing when I was slightly older. This aspiration was put to the test when I chose a physics teaching module as part of my undergraduate course and spent some time working in a school. That experience really woke me up to the real possibility of teaching as a career.
“I had a gap year between graduating from university and beginning my teacher training. Initially I had a number of ideas I was interested in pursuing. This included an interest in writing and publishing, particularly educational publishing.
“But, I soon realised I needed a career which involved interaction and communication. After working as a graduate teaching assistant for six months I decided there would never be a better time to go into teaching. I’d watched lessons and supported in the delivery of them; now it would be me who decides where we’re going and how to present the information.
“It was a really difficult decision deciding to do university-led training rather than school direct training, particularly because I had previously been working in a school which I liked and was comfortable.
“Ultimately I chose to do a PGDipEd course because I felt I would get a broader experience and overview of working in education. I also liked the idea of going back to university, building a strong peer group and having a little more time to consider teaching practice before heading into the classroom.
“The IOP has helped significantly. Meeting the staff and other scholars helps you feel like you are part of something big and extremely important. The future of physics education is right there in the room with you, and building that national network of peers really helps motivationally.
“They have also helped me find tonnes of resources, useful sites and organisations which can help in my own development as well as the more pragmatic matter of planning lessons.
“Finally, let’s not be coy, the generous scholarship scheme makes it a much more feasible and rewarding career move!”