Snags in science

6th July 2007 at 01:00
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.

Name and address supplied

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today