Physics is an intriguing and fascinating subject that covers an enormous range of topics. If you have the knowledge and are keen to share this with young people, teaching physics could be the career path for you.
Is teaching physics right for me?
Take a look at a video of a physics teacher as he describes his love for teaching and gives an insight into some of his lessons. Andy Smith has been a physics teacher for seven years and in 2005 he won an award for being the best secondary school teacher in the North West.
Pass on the passion and teach (PDF, 2MB) on the Institute of Physics (IOP) website, asks why teach? It also includes brief stories about current physics teachers and the path they took into teaching.
If you want to find out what it's like to train as a teacher on a physics PGCE, you can also watch a short video on the IOP website
Why is physics so important in schools?
Physics is around us every day. We can look up into the sky at night and be reminded of physics; we can simply turn on a light and physics is there. This is what we need to highlight to young people; that physics is hugely relevant to everybody, everywhere.
Why do we need physics teachers?
Currently there is a shortage of physics teachers and there is a danger that physics could become lost as other subjects grow in popularity.
The Government has recognised this in The Importance of Teaching: Schools White Paper, and wants to see a rise in the number of physics teachers. The White Paper outlines plans to support both new and existing physics teachers.
Support from the Institute of Physics for physics teachers
When you have successfully completed your initial teacher training (ITT), you will be supported through your first year of teaching as a newly qualified teacher (NQT). To find out more on the support available once you are a qualified teacher, visit our NQT pages
As a physics teacher you can find encouragement through Talk Physics, an online community of physics teachers from across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. Here you can get involved in discussions about teaching methods, relevant topics in the classroom, and you can also access resources from the Institute of Physics (IOP), and share your thoughts by writing your own blog.
You could also have the opportunity to sign up for a free continuing professional development (CPD) workshop run by the Physics Teacher Network. A physics network coordinator from your region could come to your school and there is a variety of sessions you can choose from to help enhance and develop your teaching skills.
Read about physics with mathematics PGCE courses. If you're passionate about both subjects this could be the ideal route for you. These courses are particularly suited to graduates with a physics or engineering background.
If you would like to become a physics teacher, sign up with us today for more information and advice.