'I'd like to pass on my passion to the next generation

7th February 2003 at 00:00
Name Chris Greenhall

Age 24

Current post Newly qualified, teaching science at Nobel school in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

Career to date?

I took a biochemistry degree at Warwick University, then took a year off deciding what to do. I did office jobs and went into forensic science for six months to see if I liked it, but I decided on teaching. I did a PGCE at Leicester University last year.

Why did you become a teacher?

I remembered my biology teacher when I was at school and the way he put across the passion and the interest of science. I really enjoy science, and I'd like to pass that passion on to the next generation. I found forensic biology a bit dull - stuck in the lab every day was the same, whereas with teaching every day's different. It's always interesting - good or bad. I love my subject because it explains how the world works. Children look with awe and wonder at what's going on around them; science explains it to them and makes clear what's going on.

What's the best thing that's happened to you so far?

An A-level lesson where the whole class as one finally understood what I was talking about. It was about proteins and fats and how they link together. They all got a bit flustered by it at first because it's quite complicated, but in this one lesson everyone linked it together - you could see the spark light in their eyes. That was a great moment.

And the worst?

I'm lucky in that I haven't had a particularly bad experience so far. A day when we break equipment is always a bad day.

What do you like most about teaching?

Watching children develop as people. I haven't been teaching long, but you see that even after a short time. I have a Year 7 form, and watching them develop from primary school children to secondary over one term - that maturity level and that interest - has been fascinating. The second thing is the variety every day. You might have your whole day's lessons planned, then somebody asks a question that really makes you think.

What is your dream job?

I'd like to go into educational research - how we can teach science in a better way.

Top tip?

Go into a school, try it out and see for yourself. It's one of those jobs where, if you don't have that experience, you can't really know whether you want to do it or not. It is an emotional rollercoaster. Lows when days go badly can be extremely low, but highs when a lesson goes right and people get it can be higher than any other I've experienced in a job.

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