Teaching physics: The practical aspect really appealed to me

Before training to teach, I spent four years completing a PhD in hydraulic engineering of algal biofuels and 18 months doing postdoctoral work on the same subject, with a brief spell working in investment banking in-between.

I have always enjoyed teaching and while completing my PhD and doing postdoctoral studies I really enjoyed the teaching aspect of the work, so there was a natural progression into teaching. The decision to teach physics over maths was made after visiting schools and finding that the practical aspect of teaching really appealed to me, because this helped me to learn when I was at school.

I am training through a School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) course in my hometown. I not only chose this route because I live very close to the lead school, but also because it allows the student teachers to get into schools and start teaching more quickly than in the University-led route.

The community within the school I am teaching is really positive and the science department is very welcoming: sharing many useful resources and ideas. Teaching my first lesson was a great experience, and seeing the difference I was able to make to the students understanding was fantastic – it gave me a great buzz, just like the one that I’d heard so much about!

I was awarded an IOP Scholarship for my training year. I’m really looking forward to the masterclasses and knowing I have a supportive community to help me out if I am finding any aspects of teaching difficult. The increase in the value of the scholarship vs the financial bursary was also very welcome!

  • The Institute of Physics is awarding Teacher Training Scholarships to individuals who have impressive subject knowledge, a passion to share their subject and the determination to become an exceptional teacher of physics. IOP scholars will benefit from £28,000 tax-free funding, as well as a package of support that includes CPD, networking events and IOP membership. Find out more and apply here.
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