Len's Story- geology degree to physics SKE

Len's Story- geology degree to physics SKE 

Degree subject?

Natural sciences with an emphasis on earth sciences (mainly geology and geophysics).

SKE subject?

Physics SKE to go on to do a PGCE at University College London

What were you doing before teacher training?

I have a background as a financial adviser but was made redundant from the job in 2013. Since then I have been working practically full-time with bits of educational work in between, like exam invigilation. In between all of this I was studying for my degree with the Open university - first just out of interest and then later with the intention of using it to gain employment.

Why did you want to become a teacher? 

With the financial services industry going through a bad period a few years ago, I started to look for a job in the geological sector, although unfortunately the sector generally expects you to be much younger, so I started to consider teaching. In June last year, I undertook some exam invigilation and then 2 weeks’ observation in the classroom, which I found very beneficial. I have since worked in other secondary and primary schools, and equally enjoyed it – particularly being able to pass on my knowledge and experience to a younger generation. A person’s age does not seem to be a barrier in education, and most schools I have worked in have valued the insights and perspective that I am able to bring from my previous jobs.

Why did you choose an SKE course?

As my degree did not have enough basic physics in it, UCL asked me to undertake a 28-week SKE course whilst finishing my degree, at times this was very hard and for about 6 months I averaged around 40 -50 hours a week studying. Learning online was definitely my preference in terms of flexibility and being able to fit it around my degree (which was incidentally completed the same way)

What support did you receive during your SKE?

My pathway tutor, Liz Horton was excellent and always very supportive. The extra subject materials that she supplied and her constructive and supportive comments also helped the course run by quickly.

How much has your understanding of the subject changed?

My knowledge of GCSE physics has obviously improved along with my regard of classroom practises and procedures. I have also learnt that there is a big difference between simply knowing a subject and teaching it.

What Impact will SKE have on your teacher training?

I think the SKE course will have a big impact upon my teacher training and I will be constantly referring back to the material to refresh my memory of certain subjects.

What did you most enjoy about the programme?

I liked the fact that the SKE programme consists of just practice questions – with no exams to be marked. The learning diaries also gave me the ability to say how I felt about certain subjects and the training material provided.

Would you recommend Tes Institute’s SKE programme?

I would recommend the Tes programme as it is comprehensive and easy to understand at the same time - It has logical steps that take you through preparing to study, then studying the subject material, with extension activities at the end if needed.