More often than not, your institution’s marketing department will take the lead on advertising your courses. At the same time, this department is often faced with the marketing and recruitment challenges of numerous courses, sometimes extending to the whole institution.
It is important therefore that you meet with the marketing department to highlight how essential it is to prioritise physics and increase awareness of the challenges of recruiting student physics teachers.
Arrange regular meetings to discuss recruitment progress, applications and the success (or not) of particular marketing activities to help you get on board with the marketing team.
Other teaching departments
Ensure that you are well-linked with other departments that have a potential supply of course applicants.
Physics departments are the most obvious but don’t overlook the engineering or other physics-rich courses as a source, especially if your institution does not have a physics department.
Don’t forget to look at the postgraduate courses and PhD students and also bear in mind part-time and evening course students.
Brief the careers department
Establish a meeting with your university’s central careers department to explain to them the importance of recruiting students into physics teacher training and the financial incentives on offer for trainees. Ask them to disseminate information about your course and training bursaries to physics, engineering and maths students.
Your institution might even have a dedicated careers contact working within the physics or engineering department. If so, work closely with them to distribute information about your course and the financial support available for physics teacher training.
Work with student societies
Get to know the engineering or physics student societies within your institution. Run teacher training bite-size sessions for them on-campus, or get them involved with volunteering in one of your local schools. Putting undergraduates into a school environment early on and showing them how fun it can be to work with young people might just ignite a passion for teaching.
Undergraduate teaching modules
Many undergraduate physics courses include a science communication and teaching module. If this is true in your institution, get in touch with the tutor running the module to make sure that you’re making the most of this opportunity to get students thinking about ITE.
If your institution does not run modules like this, it may still be worth approaching undergraduate physics and engineering tutors to discuss ways to incorporate some teaching experience.
Respond to enquiries from prospective applicants as quickly as possible. Leaving someone waiting for a reply from you several days after their initial contact can give the impression that you are not very well organised, or that you are not really interested in their enquiry.
Once you have established a dialogue with a prospect, keep in touch. Find out how they are progressing with their application, ask them if they need any advice about funding or see if you can help them arrange school experience.