I can’t decide whether to teach physics or maths

Deciding to be a teacher is a separate decision from deciding what to teach.

As physics and mathematics are closely related, a physicist or engineer is likely to have a strong mathematical background.

For university-based ITT, you no longer have to choose between these subjects. You can now opt for a Physics with Maths PGCE which is offered by a selection of training providers across England.

But if you are following another training route - or this PGCE doesn't suit you, for example it is not offered by your chosen ITT provider - deciding whether to become a physics teacher or a maths teacher can be a real and difficult decision.

Of course, the IOP recommends you train as a physics teacher.

Here are two good reasons:

1. You will be in a better position to teach maths with a physics teacher training than you would be to teach physics with a maths teaching background. Despite their similarities, maths and physics are taught very differently. When you train as a science teacher, you'd be prepared for practical lab work and learn about risk assessments and health and safety considerations. As maths is a classroom-based subject, you will not encounter this in depth during your ITT.

2. Imagine yourself in a room of fractious teenagers. As a mathematics teacher, you are in a classroom with a white board as your main tool. As a physics teacher, you are in a laboratory with a white board and a wide range of gadgets and experiments you can turn to.