Science
Teacher
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Justine

Job title: Science Teacher; Head of Geology; and Housemistress (UK)

What are your qualifications?

A levels: Mathematics, Geology, Geography
BSc Geology from Leicester University
PGCE in Science (specialising in Earth Science) from Bath University

What exactly does a teacher do?

I work 35 hours a week not including planning, marking, parents' evenings and extra-curricular activities. I have a tutor group consisting of Year 9, 10 and 11 boys. I teach 28 lessons of geology a week to students in Year 9 to 13. I also teach extra-curricular sessions in netball, basketball and rounders throughout the year and deliver the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Apart from formal qualifications, what other skills or characteristics do you need?

A teacher needs to be a good communicator, and approachable with a keen sense of humour and patience. In the classroom class management skills and good organisation are essential.

What sort of school do you work for?

I teach at an independent school, and am employed directly by the school.

If this wasn’t your first job after your studies, what did you do in between?

After completing my PGCE I went to Magdalen College School, Northamptonshire and taught science up to GCSE Level, and A Level Geology. After 2 ½ years I handed in my resignation and accepted my current job.

Do you travel within the UK or overseas very much?

The long school holidays allow me to travel widely and regularly both abroad and within the UK. Teachers often get the opportunity to organise school trips - so far I have been skiing in the Alps, trekking in Morocco, Thailand and Cambodia! I have also organised geology fieldtrips to the Isle of Arran, Tenerife and hope to organise next year's trip to Iceland.

Do you work a regular length day/week or are shifts involved?

I work from 8.35 to 4.10pm but often have extra commitments such as parents evenings, staff meetings and sports fixtures.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I enjoy the interaction with students and helping and encouraging them to fulfil their potential. Being a Housemistress gives the advantage of mixing with students from all the year groups in a relaxed and informal situation. The house competitions and events are fun and entertaining and bring all the students together.

What advice or extra information do you wish you’d had before starting this career?

Work and life experience before teaching is valuable.

What position would you like to hold in 5 years time?

I am quite satisfied with my current job and its responsibilities. To progress within the school  environment I would have to relinquish some of my geology teaching which I am not prepared to do quite yet!