The Engineer Turned Science Teacher

Colin Seeney - BSc (Hons) Secondary Science with Mathematics with QTS graduate

BSc (Hons) Secondary Science with Mathematics with QTS graduate Colin Seeney is a science teacher at The Castle School, Bristol.

"Before teaching, I ran a small garage specialising in modifying vehicles to run on environmentally friendly fuels. This was after a successful career in medical and scientific engineering spanning over 20 years. 

I wanted to do something completely different and was looking for a rewarding future. I settled on teaching because I wanted to make a difference and also try to encourage an interest in science across all abilities.

I also felt that my practical experiences of science could give a different  perspective when trying to encourage an interest in science and engineering.

The quality of the teacher training course at USW was superb. The tutors based their teaching on practical experience. This meant it was very easy for us to relate what was being taught to what was happening in the classroom. 

As with most trainee teachers I was most concerned about how to control a class, but the lecturers - all experienced teachers - shared practical advice and techniques, all of which proved invaluable until I found my own style and methods.

I have so many memorable moments from being a student teacher and standing in front of a class for the first time - these include a Year 9 student saying they wished I could carry on teaching them because I made science interesting and fun to getting my first teaching nickname - sounds strange but this seems to be a sign that you’ve been accepted!

For me, the best thing about being a teacher is when the learners get it and ask questions because they want to know more. That's a good day's work."

 

 

Most valuable lessons I learned from the teacher training degree

  • Good subject knowledge is key to feeling comfortable in front of a class and the course provided very specific knowledge at the depth needed to teach confidently. 

  • I also learned that teaching is not easy and doesn’t always go as you would expect, but with good subject knowledge you can adapt to what is in front of you.

  • Interestingly, I learned that the areas you are concerned about such as managing behaviour are often the ones that cause you the least problems - especially if your lessons are well thought out.

 

Would you like to study secondary teacher training?