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Snags in science

I am an early-retired university academic in my fifties. I am well qualified in physics and have a passion for the subject. Rather than languish in retirement with an atrophying mind, I responded to the call for teachers and embarked on a PGCE. I survived it and can now be let loose on the next generation.

I have been told on my placements that my subject knowledge is outstanding, that I am enthusiastic, and that I have a very good manner with children: a perfect foundation for a physics teacher. Or so I thought. And yet I cannot get shortlisted for jobs. I have applied for quite a few most of them requesting a physics specialist but I have had no reply to any application, and no references have been sought.

I understood that at this time of year the competition would be from other newly qualified teachers, and with so few students trained in physics I was confident that I would be shortlisted. Alas, no. The final ignominy was to see one of the posts I had applied for re-advertised. That school, too, had not replied to my requests for feedback.

I can only assume that there is an adequate supply of good physics teachers to ensure the future prosperity of this subject in schools.

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