Earning and learning to be a teacher

PGCE with Supported Induction Route (SIR) –  a new course at the University of Dundee designed:

  • to help you become a teacher in a 52-week course
  • to meet Scotland’s demand for secondary teachers of STEM subjects
  • to combine Master-level training with school-based experience

Unlike other routes into teaching currently available in Scotland, with this programme you can study while receiving the equivalent of a probationer teacher’s salary (£22416 p.a. as at 1st April 2016).

Running from January to January, it brings together the first two steps in your career as a teacher, the initial teacher education programme and the Teacher Induction Scheme, and you will be fully registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), allowing you to teach pupils of secondary age in your subject specialism (Physics, Chemistry, Computing, Mathematic,) in Scottish schools.

Rather than the three 6-week placements you experience in a traditional teacher training course, the PGCE with SIR features a 37-week school placement, enabling the development of stronger, continuous working relationships with the school, its staff, pupils and the community.

Find out more here

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#ExperienceWorks campagn week beg 6 November

Week beginning 6 November is our focus on work experience and the breadth of things that can count.  I’ll be running two sessions via Collaborate on getting work experience – details on MyCareerHub events. I’ve captured a few students’ very different experiences and what they gained as a result. For more details on the #Experience Works campaign, visit the webpage

Michal Tomaszewski graduated as the top student on Mathematical Physics degree and  is currently working on his PhD in cancer research at Cambridge.  Michal did a business internship in the City and gained experience from various financial institutions before he changed his path to cancer research.   Having done a purely theoretical degree he is now at home in a wet lab. It just shows:

  • it’s good to try different things to work out where your preferences lie
  • starting in one area doesn’t mean you have to stay there
  • no matter what you do, you develop personally and professionally from it

Tara Bruendl (astrophysics)

“In the 2 months that I worked at the European Space Agency, I learnt about the professionalism in the agency and how important good communication between colleagues is. I learnt what it’s like to work independently besides one of the best mission analysts in the world and also receive constructive criticism once in a while.

I was afraid that my programming wasn’t up to scratch but luckily I could pick up the most common routines  fairly quickly. With the help of my very patient supervisor I learnt how to make code more elegant and use as little of it as possible. When I wasn’t debugging the Fortran 5000-plus-liner (yes, in the space sector everything gets recycled, including ancient programs from the 70s) tea breaks would take up second priority, as many staff would joke. The canteen was the meeting place of different sections, ages and nationalities.

If you can, I would always recommend gaining some work experience in the summer, since it not only gives you a head start in job applications but also teaches you a lot about if the job is right for you in the first place. That said, I’m considering a career in the space sector more than ever before and could imagine working as a trainee for ESA or in the space industry after graduating.

Sara Rigby (MPhys)

This summer, I was able to carry out two internships that helped me formulate my career plans much more solidly.

 First of all, I spent a month at a secondary school in York doing a physics teaching placement, arranged by the Ogden Trust. While I started out simply observing lessons, by the time I left I was treated like a teaching assistant: not only did I work with individual students and small groups regularly, but I also got the chance to plan and deliver a whole lesson. On top of this, I ran an extracurricular club with the other intern, and of course I also had to put up a few displays. This gave me a well-rounded view of the different elements of a teacher’s job.

Having a strong foundation of physics knowledge helped me to explain things in a way I found intuitive, and sometimes to link different subject areas together to make useful analogies. I would definitely recommend the Ogden Trust’s Teach Physics internship to anyone who is considering a career in teaching, however unsure they are. The month I spent there gave me a realistic view of life as a teacher, allowing me to make a very well-informed decision about my future career. Even though I won’t be pursuing a career in teaching, I’m really glad I got this opportunity. I really enjoyed the time I spent at the school, and I gained a lot of confidence in myself and my ability to communicate effectively.

Shortly after this, I travelled to Bristol, where I spent two weeks doing work experience with BBC Focus Magazine, a science and technology publication. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I got to write while I was there. Most of what I contributed was published on the website, but one very short ‘Eye Opener’ piece – an extended caption to accompany a striking image – made it into the most recent print issue. I wrote a feature on weird and wonderful pain relief; I contributed to the ongoing ‘This Day in Science History’ series; I interviewed a renowned cosmologist from MIT about his new book on artificial intelligence.

One skill that came in useful in particular was the ability to research a topic, quickly understand the basics, and distil it down to the essential and most interesting parts; for once, I was thankful that I’d done the group project the previous year! I loved my time at the magazine: I was fascinated by the day-to-day organisation, especially leading up to their publication day, and I realised how much I love writing about science. This helped me to decide that I want to pursue a career in science communication once I graduate.”

Interested in Teaching in UK Schools?

Nick Hood from Moray House is a Senior Teaching Fellow in Secondary Education (Physics Specialist) and will be here to answer your questions around teaching as a career, postgraduate study options (at Edinburgh and the rest of the UK) and getting experience.   Nick is a chartered physicist and an interesting guy!

https://www.ed.ac.uk/profile/nick-hood

Mon 30 Oct 2017, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Weir Building (Careers Service), King’s Buildings

Book a place via MyCareerHub

https://mycareerhub.ed.ac.uk/students/events/detail/456716/career-conversation-interested

Fast track STEM teaching qualification

There is a new teacher education scheme at University of Dundee.  It’s a fast track STEM course which combines the one-year teaching qualification with the induction year.  The subjects it includes are Physics, Chemistry, Computing & Mathematics.

The benefits are that graduates will be in the classroom quicker and they are paid the probationer salary (£22,500) from the outset.  This is a two-year pilot and the first year of the course runs from January 2018 to January 2019.  You apply directly to the University of Dundee and the closing date is 17th October.

To find out more have a look at Dundee’s website

Dundee are still offering the more traditional PGDE Secondary alongside this new option.

Institute of Physics: insight into teaching

UPDATE: this event didn’t happen due to powercut at Kings Buildings. Lewis says it will likely be rescheduled after Christmas and will let us know so we can promote again.(Susan Bird). He has supplied us with the slides from one of the presenters.

Lewis Lappin from the Edinburgh University Physics Society is also the Ambassador for the IOP’s Insight into Teaching event and has asked me to highlight this event for physicists

Interested in teaching? Find out about a career in teaching Physics at the Institute of Physics Insight into teaching event.

When: 16th of November at Lecture Theatre C, JCMB, Kings Buildings.

Find out about:
•Gaining school experience
•Routes into teaching
•How to apply

Network with:
•Current teachers
•Teacher training providers
•IOP representatives

There will be refreshments and a free IOP goody bag for everyone that comes!

RSVP on eventbrite to confirm your place:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/insight-into-teaching-with-the-iop-tickets-28919503012

Join the Facebook event

Love physics, teach physics

Keen to share your love of physics?

If you’d like to know more about teaching, and whether it’s for you or not, come along to the teaching Career Conversation happening in JCMB on Wednesday 9th November (lunchtime)

My colleague Suzanne Agnew is running it with an academic member of staff from Moray House.  You can book a space via MyCareerHub

You can find out more about teaching from our online resources  and from searching the resources tab on MyCareerHub.

IOP Teacher Training Scholarships: £30,000 tax-free funding

£30,000 tax-free funding available for talented individuals entering physics teacher training in England in the 2016/17 academic year. 150 IOP scholarships will be awarded to the very best individuals who impress the IOP with their academic record, physics subject knowledge and commitment to teaching. Find out more and how to apply on the IOP website.

Here’s a heads-up about the assessment process: