I graduated with an MSc in mathematical physics from Durham University in 1995, specialising in quantum physics. Although fascinated by physics and intending to continue with academic study, I wanted to travel at this stage in my life and went to work as a watersports instructor in Greece. Coaching my customers and seeing their skills improve made me interested in the process of learning and inspired me to become a teacher. I studied for a postgraduate teaching diploma at Cambridge University and successfully became a qualified teacher in 1999.
Since then, I have taught in UK schools and gained other experience, such as a short time working at the National Physics Laboratory in Teddington near London. For the last thirteen years I worked teaching A-Level and GCSE at a state college of further education. During this time, I was very pleased to be able to help many students gain places at top universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, as well as to be able to build and modernise the teaching resources in the Physics department. I also introduced and ran an annual field trip to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva. It was wonderful to see how this inspired the students – in fact, two of my former students who are now at university contacted me to tell me that they have secured placements at CERN.
Having recently arrived at Park Lane International School, I am looking forward to a new and different working environment, and meeting my new students. I am sure they will be inspiring to teach and that I will learn from them, as well as the other way around. Teaching physics to young people always leads in intriguing new directions, as they ask and answer questions and form a mental model of the physical world.