West Central Scotland
Teacher Network Coordinator in West Central Scotland
Glasgow G61 3SU
Principal Teacher of Physics, Bearsden Academy.
I have taught physics in Scottish schools for more years than I care to remember and for the last 18 years in Bearsden Academy, where, at the moment, I am Principal Teacher of Physics. I have extensive knowledge of all levels of the Physics Curriculum in Scotland and huge experience of the SQA exam system and 5 – 14, which just about covers everything there is to cover. And for my sins, I was one of the first four teachers in Scotland to teach Standard Grade Science and I am almost certainly the last one of that four left teaching it!!
I have worked on many Committees and working groups and have made a solid, quiet and often, not too quiet, contribution to many, many initiatives, ideas and practices.
I have been interested in the Institute of Physics Teachers’ Network, since I first heard of the proposal to develop it. Like most things, this interest stemmed from the fact that I found myself in a predicament that I did not, or do not, really know how to deal with. Namely what do I do as, one by one, my department retires and I cannot replace them? How do I stem the flow of my pupils into biology with its young, trendy teachers or into technological studies, which the pupils perceive to be easier, when I have fewer and fewer physicists to teach and inspire them? How do I stem the flow of engineering graduates into teaching technological studies when they could be teaching physics, and when physics will almost certainly provide better career opportunities for them, as technological studies is already full of young men and even a few young women already on that career path?
And then there are girls. As a pupil, I attended an all girls’ school, the West of Scotland had many such schools at that time and the girls were never told that physics was anything other than a girl’s subject! From those schools came a generation of women physics teachers, teachers who inspired me and many other pupils. But more importantly, all these women ensured that, with the men, there were enough physics teachers. Just as it is clearly the case, that there will not be enough physics teachers in the near future. So I knew I could not sit back.
The Institute of Physics has given me the opportunity to widen my area of influence and, with my colleagues, I would like to develop the Teacher Network, to provide support for physics teachers, probationers and students; to bring more pupils into physics and more physicists, scientists and engineers into teaching, and particularly into physics teaching, and, when I have finished with teaching, to be content that I have done my best to ensure that physics education will have a secure future in Scotland.
Central workshops I can deliver
Shocked and stunned
Son of new ideas?
Software for skint schools
What happens next?
Lights, camera, images
|Happy to deliver||Games laboratory|
Specialist workshops I offer
- Advanced Higher investigations
- Advanced Higher support
- Archive learning in the Science Lab
- Learning and teaching – hinge point questions, AfL strategies, literacy across the curriculum
- Forces and Electricity
- Teltron tubes