Damien Willey- from carer to Physics teacher

Damien Willey- from natural science to physics SKE

I've been a carer for the last 13 years which meant putting my career on hold to prioritise my family. In that time, I did however manage to complete my degree and now that the hospital appointments have largely finished I can return to work- this year of teacher training will be the start of that journey…

My degree was a BSc in natural science, although a large part of it consisted of physics modules– physics being my teaching specialism and SKE course. Due to the nature of being a carer, taking a flexible course was essential and studying online enables that in a way that face-to-face tuition just does not. When choosing my SKE course I was given a shortlist of options by my training provider (Cornwall SCITT) and was drawn to Tes Institute, who responded quickly and efficiently and in addition have a wide array of learning materials available. Going forward into my teaching career- I hope that I'll still be involved with Tes for some time to come!

Throughout the course, I’ve been able to reflect upon how SKE will impact my teacher training. The misconceptions that students may have towards physics, for example, were not in my peripheral awareness before but now this will always be in my mind when it comes to planning lessons. I’m aware that Physics can be like marmite for some students so I’m prepared to build them up bit by bit, not to expect miracles and let them learn to love the subject.

Prior to the SKE programme I was under the misapprehension that I needed to know everything at all times - I think this stemmed from school experience visits where I had no idea what the lesson would be on, so could not prepare for it and this in turn left me slightly lacking in confidence. The SKE course has helped me to challenge this perception, showing me that I know a lot more than I thought and my Pathway Tutor, Liz Horton, was always on hand to answer any questions with detailed and useful feedback that could be readily acted upon. 

My understanding of the subject is undiminished, but I'm the type of person that can't stand not knowing something, so I’m always looking things up and I'm still learning, even having finished my SKE.  

Would I recommend it? Of course!