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Am I mad wanting to teach secondary school physics?
Im 41 and just finished 100 out of 360 ucas points, of an OU Physics honours degree. Having spent all my working life in electronics, people are telling me im mad to want to switch to teaching. Opinions please?
asked in teaching, physics

her_nextdoor answers:

That depends on many factors. The type of school you choose, i.e. it's catchment area, and how good a teacher you think you will be. If you're anything like my physics teacher was then you'd best give up now.

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Topaz2308 answers:

If you have the patience to teach and the enthusiasm to do it then why not. You have studied hard to pass and it is only natural you would want to impart some of the knowledge you have learnt to help others.

It takes courage and perseverance to go back and learn a new trade so you should be commended not rebuffed for something you have choosen and worked hard to achieve.

In essence do what makes you happy and you can't go far wrong as only you can walk in your shoes.

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mathpath answers:

You could be!

Practising and teaching are not the same thing. Someone who is good in maths may not necessarily make a good maths teacher. Teaching requires a lot of planning, psychology, understanding and patience. Not every physicist is made to be a teacher, and vice versa, that is why they are different careers.

On the other hand, if you have the passion of transmitting your knowledge to youngsters, are prepared to spend a lot of time preparing your classes, are ready to understand how a student learns best, go right ahead and begin your most rewarding experience.

Do come back and tell us how you're doing if you decide to teach!

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KentPDG answers:

Not mad, but sensible. Many people, who have the opportunity, switch out of a competitive workplace into teaching, somewhere in mid-career. For some, that is an attempted escape; and they lack the skills, sensitivity, and patience to deal with adolescents. For others, it is the opportunity to share their knowledge and insights, helping young people to grow and to understand a larger world.

No one on this site can predict whether you will be happy and fulfilled as a teacher. But if you genuinely like young people, and if you have both knowledge and an intuitive grasp of Physics, and if you have the temperament of a teacher, then ignore what "they say". the nay-sayers are probably just jealous of you, and wish they could aspire to such a productive career change.

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