Teaching physics: It’s amazing to see that important curiosity for physics in the classroom

As university was drawing to a close I was slightly unsure of what I wanted to do afterwards. I started thinking about all the things I had enjoyed doing at university and also beforehand. I realised that all my work experience had revolved around working with children, whether that was through work experience in schools and colleges or as a student ambassador for my university where I took part in events such as science week. In particular I had taken part in a 5-week internship with Ogden Trust, which aimed at bringing more physics graduates into teaching. I had always enjoyed these roles and so it seemed like a natural progression to then go on to teaching!

“It is so rewarding to see a student taking an interest in a subject that you yourself have always enjoyed”

I chose the school direct route because I felt that I would be best equipped as a teacher if I got the most experience in the classroom as possible. The one day at university felt like it would be enough for me, and this way I get to experience the whole school year from day 1 in September to the last day in summer.

Working with children is always great; it is so rewarding to see a student taking an interest in a subject that you yourself have always enjoyed. In particular I love the moments when you tell the class an interesting fact or an anecdote and then get a flood of questions about it, it is that curiosity that I think is so important within Physics and so it’s always amazing when you see it in the classroom.

I have also met a lot of new people in my training year from all walks of life and have already made lots of great friends who I know I will keep in contact with after my placements have finished.

The IOP Teacher Training Scholarship has such a wide range of support on offer in lots of different ways, from the masterclass days which I am currently signed up to attend and am very excited for, to your personal contact at the IOP. When completing my essay for the university part of my training year I was able to contact the IOP for guidance on aspects of it which was really helpful! I get emails every month about CPD opportunities or other events going on in my area and it really helps me to feel connected not only to other teachers but just to the subject in general.

  • 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.

Amy Smith

Amy is a Trainee Physics Teacher and IOP Scholar.

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