Scholarship boosts courage to pursue teaching career

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Before starting teaching training, I was studying for a BA in physics at Oxford. After graduating, I decided to dive straight into the PGCE.

In school, I loved physics but the classes tended to bore me due to unenthusiastic teachers. At university, I found myself daydreaming during lectures about how I would teach certain topics in a more enjoyable way.

I began tutoring maths and science and found I really enjoyed learning afresh with new students and I enjoyed coming up with more creative ways to understand different topics. I soon realised I wanted to be the one to make sure the next generation is more excited about physics lessons than I was.

I opted to follow a university-led training course – I’d heard high recommendations of this route. I liked the appeal of being eased into teaching by first being taught myself and then slowly applying what I’d learned in the classroom. The well balanced timetable of seminars and workshops alongside an increasing school based timetable meant I could get lots of experience while still being well supported.

Although I was a little scared at first, I was also really excited to get stuck into the actual teaching, and to try out the teaching methods and styles I’d been learning about and start to get a feel for what kind of teacher I will be.

The scholarship gave me the chance to stay in this wonderful city for another year, living right in the centre of Oxford with five other PGCE students who support and encourage one another. It’s given me great opportunities to meet fellow physicists from across the country who want to do exactly what I want to do.

The IOP’s support has reassured me that teaching is a worthwhile and rewarding profession – and they’ve given me the courage to pursue it as a career.

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Gillian McCloy

Gillian McCloy

Physics teacher and IOP Teacher Training Scholar 2016/17
Gillian McCloy

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